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Migration, Democracy and Security (MIDAS)

June 2004 - December 2006

In response to 9/11, governments across the world have introduced policies that have impacted on traditional freedom rights - the core to liberal democracies. The securitisation - i.e. the legitimation of emergency measures by reference to an existential threat - of the freedom of movement played an important role in developing these policies. The Copenhagen School of security studies has argued that securitisation is problematic to democratic politics. However, they have as yet not fully explored the exact nature and scope of the effects of securitisation for civil society and democratic politics. Conceptually, this project addresses this gap while empirically it:

  • investigates the role of securitisation of free movement in the selection and legitimisation of policy- responses to 9/11;
  • assesses the relative power of actors for civil society and democratic politics;
  • investigates how emergency measures have become normalised;
  • clarifies potential policy alternatives and whether their neglect has been due to the securitisation;
  • assesses the possibilities for de-securitising freedom of movement and locates the analysis of securitisation in a comparative and sociological framework

This research is funded by the ESRC.

Principal Investigator: Prof Thomas Diez, University of Birmingham
by contacting Dr Jef Huysmans, The Open University

Learn more about the research programme: Securities