Human (in)security and irregular migration: the Atlantic Basin

Date - 08 / 04 / 2019

Human (in)security and irregular migration: the Atlantic Basin

Human (in)security and irregular migration: the Atlantic Basin

By: João Estevens



Both voluntary and forced migration remain one of the most divisive issues among states today. Though it is not a new phenomenon, migration flows have been increasing over the last three decades. Since 9/11 and the subsequent ‘Global War on Terrorism’, migration has become an intense object for security analysis as it is undeniable how terrorism shapes public opinion on migration and affects political movements inside civil society and party systems. But does all migration matter for security? The answer is a clear no since most of the flows are regular and will not create neither a risk nor a threat for the state and its population. We live in a time of global human mobility and the twenty-first century is indeed the century of the migrant, but migration is a complex and highly stratified phenomenon. It impacts on the political boundaries left from the days of imperialism and colonialism, producing multicultural societies with shifting ethnic or religious compositions (Goldstone, 2012, p. 12). Global human mobility is a key feature of our world, albeit it includes many different dynamics, from the global tourist to the undocumented employee, and from human trafficking to refugees forced to leave their country of origin because of climate changes, poverty or wars (Castles & Miller, 2009). Hence, migration is contributing to many changes inside structures and institutions acting on global political, economic and social relationships (Castles, 2010, p. 1566). Notwithstanding, in this paper, we focus on the migration-security nexus and so we are mostly referring to irregular migration flows that happen due to mass displacements (forced migration), cross-border asylum seekers and refugees, cross-border contract workers, migrants seeking better social and economic opportunities, and migrants with an irregular administrative status in the receiving countries.



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