Handbook on Migration and Social Policy
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Handbook on Migration and Social Policy

Edited by Gary P. Freeman and Nikola Mirilovic

In this detailed Handbook, an interdisciplinary team of scholars explores the consequences of migration for the social policies of rich welfare states. They test conflicting claims as to the positive and negative effects of different types of migration against the experience of countries in Europe, North America, Australasia, the Middle East and South Asia. The chapters assess arguments as to migration’s impact on the financial, social and political stability of social programs. The volume includes comprehensive reviews of existing scholarship as well as state of the art original empirical analysis.
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Chapter 13: ‘Securitizing’ immigration in Europe: sending them the same (old) message, getting the same (old) reply?

Anthony M. Messina


Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 [immigrants’] dependants . . . It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre. British politician, Enoch Powell (1968) During the 1950s and the 1960s . . . Western European states recruited large numbers of immigrants for economic purposes without triggering any of the security concerns that characterize the current debate on immigration. van Munster (2009: 1) As I have observed elsewhere (Messina 2014), few subjects within the ever-expanding field of immigration studies have inspired more scholarship during the past decade or so than the ‘securitization of immigration’ (Bilgic 2013; Buonfino 2004; Burgess and Gutwirth 2011; Chebel d’Appollonia 2012; Croft 2012; Diez and Squire 2008; Faist 2006; Freedman 2004; Ginsburg 2010; Guild 2009; Huysmans 2006; Kaya 2012; Lianos 2013; Ross 2004; Rudolph 2006; van Munster 2009; Watson 2009; White 2012). What does this phrase mean? According to the Copenhagen School of Security Studies, securitization is a process by which ostensibly non-security issues, such as immigration, are transformed into urgent security concerns as a consequence of securitizing speech acts.

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