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The Arab Spring and the Crisis of the European Border Regime: Manufacturing Emergency in the Lampedusa Crisis

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  • Giuseppe Campesi
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    The so-called Arab Spring has thrown out of kilter the precarious balance on which the Euro-Mediterranean border-control regime has been built over the years, illustrating the need to set this regime on a new foundation. The breaking point in the crisis came when the flow of migrants landing on Italian shores in Lampedusa took a spike at the beginning of this year. I analyze how the Italian government manufactured the Lampedusa crisis by matching a discursive rhetoric to government strategy, and I highlight how the sovereign prerogative to define emergency was questioned at both a supranational and a subnational level. I also discuss the main assumption behind securitization theory, exploring the complex web of political and institutional relationships involved in the securitization process and illustrating the ambiguity of the security language deployed by the main securitizing actors. Finally, I look at the possible outcomes of the crisis by looking at the interests involved when it comes to reconfiguring the power to define and govern emergency within the framework of the European border-control regime.

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    Paper provided by European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS) in its series EUI-RSCAS Working Papers with number 59.

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    Date of creation: 15 Nov 2011
    Handle: RePEc:erp:euirsc:p0299
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    1. Jef Huysmans, 2000. "The European Union and the Securitization of Migration," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(5), pages 751-777, December.
    2. Andrew W. Neal, 2009. "Securitization and Risk at the EU Border: The Origins of FRONTEX," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47, pages 333-356, 03.
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