This article contributes to the debates on de-centring the analysis of migration governance in Europe by focusing on the potential role of external actors in the securitization of asylum and migration in the European Union (EU). Although there has been a growing amount of literature on the securitization of asylum and migration in the EU, the role possibly played by external actors in this securitization process has not been considered to date. This article addresses this gap using the case of Turkey. Theoretically, it contributes to the development of the securitization framework by de-centring the study of securitization processes. It argues that, from the vantage point of an external actor, a securitization process highlights the existence of a vulnerability to a specific phenomenon that is perceived to be threatening. An external actor can then decide to exploit this vulnerability for its own gain, notably by making threats that play on the fears of the other political actor. Empirically, the article demonstrates how the Turkish government has been able to exploit the vulnerability of European countries to migration flows, which had been highlighted by the social construction of asylum and migration as security issues. By repeatedly threatening to send more asylum-seekers and migrants Europe’s way, the Turkish authorities have managed to secure some significant financial and political benefits for themselves in the last few years.
- Political Science and International Relations
- Geography, Planning and Development