Securitization as a Source of Insecurity: A Ground-Level Look at the Functioning of Europe’s External Border in Lampedusa
By Giacomo Orsini
Volume 16, Issue 1, pages 135-147
Immigration to Europe increasingly emerges as a core security concern. In response to these growing anxieties the external border of Schengen space of free movement of people was established to limit uncontrolled immigration to the European Union. Yet, looking closely at how this border works in Lampedusa and its surrounding seawaters, one realizes the functioning of the European external border works to undermine the legitimacy of institutions on the island, de facto challenging law enforcement both on the island as well as at sea. Based on the data collected during the six-months-long fieldwork that I conducted on the island, this paper disentangles the complex machinery of the border as it structures in Lampedusa, and presents how such complex governing technology works through authorities’ strategic use of local land and seawaters and their simultaneous neglect for the concerns of the population inhabiting them – representing a major source of insecurity for islanders.
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