Vernacular Border Security: Citizens' Narratives of Europe's 'Migration Crisis'

ISBN : 9780198855538

Nick Vaughan-Williams
304 ページ
153 x 234 mm

Since the peak of Europe's so-called 2015 'migration crisis', the dominant governmental response has been to turn to deterrent border security across the Mediterranean and construct border walls throughout the EU. During the same timeframe, EU citizens are widely represented - by politicians, by media sources, and by opinion polls - as fearing a loss of control over national and EU borders. Despite the intensification of EU border security with visibly violent effects, EU citizens are portrayed as 'threatened majorities'. These dynamics beg the question: Why is it that tougher deterrent border security and walling appear to have heightened rather than diminished border anxieties among EU citizens? While the populist mantra of 'taking back control' purports to speak on behalf of EU citizens, little is known about how diverse EU citizens conceptualize, understand, and talk about the so-called 'crisis'. Yet, if social and cultural meanings of 'migration' and 'border security' are constructed intersubjectively and contested politically, then EU citizens -as well as governmental elites and people on the move- are significant in shaping dominant framings of and responses to the 'crisis'. This book argues that, in order to address the overarching puzzle, a conceptual and methodological shift is required in the way that border security is understood: a new approach is urgently required that complements 'top-down' analyses of elite governmental practices with 'bottom-up' vernacular studies of how those practices are both reproduced and contested in everyday life.


1 Towards a Vernacular Study of Border Security
2 Exceptional Times, Emergency Borders: (De)Constructing Europe's 'Migration Crisis'
3 Populist and 'Post-Truth' Border Politics: The Securitization of Public Opinion on Migration
4 Dangerous Aliens, Crisis Constellations, and Information Gaps: Vernacular Narratives of Migration
5 Border Anxieties: Vernacular Narratives of Ontological (In)Security
6 Desecuritizing Strangeness: Vernacular Counter-Narratives of Border Security
Appendix 1: Moderators' Discussion Guide
Appendix 2: List of Focus Groups


Nick Vaughan-Williams is Professor of International Security at the University of Warwick, UK. He is a recipient of the Philip Leverhulme Prize for outstanding research in Politics and International Studies and the Association for Borderlands Studies Past Presidents' Gold Award. His research on the international politics of borders, security, and migration has been funded by the British Academy, UK Economic and Social Research Council, and Leverhulme Trust. His publications include Europe's Border Crisis (OUP, 2015) and Border Politics (Edinburgh University Press, 2009).