Knowledge Centre



Beyond National Security. The Nation-State, Refugees and Human Security

by Krzysztof JaskuĊ‚owski

Sep 27, 2018

International migration is one of the key factors that shape our globalising world. An increasingly growing literature on migration reflects this significance of international population movements. This article reviews three recent books which focus on the role of nation-states in managing and shaping migration processes and examine the relation between national and human security. While the work of Elizabeth Mavroudi and Caroline Nagel takes a bird's-eye view of migration, it underlines the nation-state-centred perspective in migration studies. Gabriella Lazaridis and Wadia Khursheed focus on the member states of the European Union and analyse discourse, practice, and consequences of the securitization of migration which has dominated in Europe since 9/11. On the other hand, Innes's book also deals with securitization, but it concentrates on security seen 'from below'. Drawing onexperiences of asylum seekers, Alexandria J. Innes criticizes the privileging of the nationstate in security analysis. Taken together, these works pose both empirical and normative questions about the role of the nation-state in the context of migration. Although the works do not provide ultimate answers, they suggest potential future research directions. I argue that there are two problems which seems to be particularly compelling. First, what are thefunctions and the consequences, given its current ineffectiveness, of securitisation policy? Second, how can state security be reconciled with inclusive human security?