This presentation discusses the securitization of the northern Finnish-Swedish border crossing point in Tornio from the perspective sovereignty, authority, nationalism and solidarity. In 2015, Europe witnessed the largest influx of asylum-seekers and migrants since WWII, challenging the principles of free internal mobility and humanitarianism on which the union was built. Finland received 32 476 asylums, a tenfold level compared with the previous years. The town of Tornio formed the key route for asylum-seekers and migrants arriving in Finland and a site for state intervention and militarization as hundreds of state officials, border guards, police and servicemen were temporarily resettled in the town to control the border crossing and to register the asylums. The responsibilities for organizing the reception and maintenance of asylum-seekers were shared between the state authorities and NGOs whose representatives were accused by nationalistic groups for providing support for unauthorized migrants. The mobilization of local vigilantes and patrols in the name of citizen security aimed to question the effectiveness of stakeholder actions and the authority of state in securitization. The study employs a border securitization multiple approach which means that securitization is approached as a series of enacted discursive practices by various actors, thus enabling us to unpack the multiple versions of the struggle over authority and securitization of Finnish borders. The border securitization multiple approach complicates prevailing understanding of securitization as a state effort and provides a picture of a more hybrid securitization landscape.
About the speaker
Eeva-Kaisa Prokkola is a Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer in Regional Policy and Development at the Department of Geography, University of Oulu, Finland. She holds the title of Docent in Human Geography and Border Studies at the University of Eastern Finland. She has published papers on the theme of borders, border management, migration, tourism and spatial identity with a particular focus on the EU and Schengen borders in international journals such as Political Geography, Antipode, Social & Cultural Geography, Environment and Planning A, Geopolitics, Tourism Geographies and Citizenship Studies. Currently she works as a Vice Director and Senior Research Fellow in the research consortium of Multilayered Borders of Global Security (GLASE).
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