Edited by Satvinder Singh Juss and Colin Harvey
Chapter 8: The securitization of asylum and human rights in Canada and the European Union
Over the past decades, as the number of forcibly displaced persons has reached unprecedented levels around the world, migration and asylum have become critical and debated issues in many countries. Concerns related to security, territorial sovereignty and border control fundamentally changed the playing field of immigration regulation. Beginning in the early 1980s, a number of immigration policy measures, notably visa regimes and carrier sanctions, were either initiated or retooled in order to prevent the irregular arrival of migrants or asylum seekers. National legislations on asylum and immigration have been frequently amended to become stricter. Numerous states have criminalized illegal entry, as well as all help to irregular migration. Excessive penalties have been imposed for migrant smuggling. States have re-emphasized the role of the border as the traditional symbol of national sovereignty. Physical barriers have been erected, border controls strengthened with increasing reliance on technology and military equipment. Migration controls were also pushed beyond national territory and international cooperation has been increased. This chapter deals with the securitization of asylum. Securitization is defined as a process of social construction that pushes an area of regular politics, such as asylum, into an area of security. The issue is therefore described as an existential threat to fundamental values of society and the state, a construction which helps in convincing a relevant section of society that exceptional measures are needed in response to this existential threat. In the name of urgency and survival, these measures often reach above and beyond the law and the ordinary political process.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.