Risk Politicization Strategies in EU Migration and Asylum Policies
Asylum seekers by country of origin
The title of the article Risk Politicization Strategies in EU Migration and Asylum Policies, comprises its three main elements: the concepts of risk, security and European Union (EU) policies in the wide field of migration and asylum.
Policy-making in the European Union is often dependent on the balance between member states’ preferences and the Union’s interests represented by the non-intergovernmental European institutions. Thus, I can claim that European policy-making confronts individuation with social incorporation. Sociological-institutional approaches to europeanization, study socialisation and appropriateness mechanisms in European institutions. As such, these perspectives analyse the tensions between individuation and social incorporation. Those approaches drew my attention to the “grid-group” cultural theory as a viable way to understand and explain the political behaviour of European actors. I argue that the policy dynamics of EU migration policies is carving a hierarchical risk culture whose risk politicization strategies reify migrants as a risk group.
I will adopt a constructivist perspective on security. This option will allow me to deconstruct the articulation between migration and identity and to study the implications of claims concerned with societal insecurity. As discussed throughout the article, migration is an example of an area that can be constructed as an existential threat to the symbolic and functional survival of a society. Revealing the close link between migration and the politics of security highlights the fact that identity is a particularly suited element to be tackled by the every day practices of risk control.
Targeted governance and risk profiling are addressed as two of the most important risk politicization strategies. Targeted governance and risk profiling assume a specific importance since they highlight two main components of the politics of security, namely processes of objectivation (identity cards, passports, bureaucratic categories) and subjectivation (individual or group alternative identifications) aimed at delimiting the groups to be “secured”.
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* Published in the Second Issue of Journal of Global Analysis (JGA)