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date: 27 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The relatively recent surge in interest in the security dimensions of forced migration coincided with the widening of the security agenda around the end of the Cold War. This chapter investigates the processes and consequences of this securitization of forced migration. It looks at the debate over economic, environmental, and identity security in relation to the defence of state sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the argument that refugees and asylum seekers are potential threats to all these ‘new’ types of insecurity. Citing the European response to boat migrants across the Mediterranean, it argues that a security perspective on ‘migration threats’ has overridden human rights and humanitarian values. Turning to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, it discusses how autochthonous claims and the securitization of displacement feed both each other and a vicious conflict cycle. Finally, it argues that attempts at promoting a pro-active, cooperative, concept of human security to spur refugee-friendly policies to deal with the root causes of displacement have so far been unsuccessful.

Keywords: securitization, forced migration, security, refugees, asylum seekers, boat migrants, human rights, displacement, Democratic Republic of Congo

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