chapter  5
14 Pages

Europe’s migration security dilemma

The emancipatory security analysis of irregular migration entails a new theoretical framework in order to examine the politics of security in this specific issue area (meaning, multiple political actors, their ideas and practices of security, and political implications of these practices) in a more comprehensive way. The leading critical approaches in the area of migration operate on a security notion, which is essentially about construction of threats, risks implying detrimental consequences, exclusion, oppression, destruction, control and authoritarianism. The emancipatory security approach rejects such essentialism and aims to explore the politics behind the concept of security, which is a pluralistic area where different actors with conflicting interests compete to reign. The politics of security is not only the subject of emancipatory security analysis, but also carries the seeds of transformation towards emancipation. The widely studied critical approaches’ conceptual limitations hinder the analysis of this plurality. For this reason the emancipatory approach in this book has embarked upon a process of setting up a new language game to analyse irregular migration. The concept of ‘protection-seeker’, the analytical framework of ‘the new security dilemma’, and rethinking security in relation to ‘trust-learning’ have all aimed to contribute to this cause. In this chapter, by fusing these innovations together within the Emancipatory Security Theory, ‘Europe’s migration security dilemma in relation to irregular sub-Saharan protection-seekers’ will be conceptualized. Chapter 5 discusses the political process through which decision makers in the EU interpret and respond to irregular sub-Saharan protection-seekers. Two choices available to EU decision makers and citizens will be examined through the new security dilemma framework. One choice in the European security dilemma reflects the fatalist mindset, which employs ‘worst-case forecasting’ about irregular sub-Saharan protection-seekers and promotes ethnocentric security policies. The decision makers adopting the fatalist mindset can fail to comprehend how their fatalism-driven policies affect irregular protectionseekers. The second choice aims to generate security for EU citizens by building trust towards irregular protection-seekers. If trust-learning processes can be carried out at societal level, the migration security dilemma can be transcended, giving rise to new emancipatory political structures under which both EU citizens and irregular protection-seekers can enjoy security together.