CfP: Migration and Human Security: the migrants’ perspective

EISA 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations 2015- Giardini Naxos (Italy), 23rd – 26th September 2015

Section 25: International Migration and International Security: From the Securitization of Migration to Making Migration Secure for People?

The link between migration and (in)security has been much studied in international relations and political science, particularly from the perspective of the securitisation agenda. Political, policy and media discourses often present migration as a threat to national sovereignty and state security. More generally migrants are often presented as a threat to the economic, social and cultural well – being of host populations, in turn generating feelings of insecurity which have the potential to undermine relationships between settled populations and new arrivals. Many of these policies and debates make assumptions about the motivations, expectations and aspirations of migrants yet rarely include their perspectives or voices. By focusing on the individual, rather than the state, the notion of human security provides an opportunity to broaden our understanding of the economic, social and political challenges associated with migration, from the place of origin, to transit, arrival and (re)settlement in a new location. The decision to migrate can be understood as a strategy for countering human insecurities (both real and perceived) but it is also associated with insecurities of its own: during the journey, in countries of settlement and for those left behind. This panel will explore these experiences and what they tell us about the relationship between migration and human security drawing, in particular, on the voices and perspectives of migrants themselves.

This panel invites contributions from scholars and practitioners from different disciplinary backgrounds to explore the relationship between migration and the human security of migrants. Through a focus on migrant perspectives, the panel will provide new insights into the ways that migrants negotiate and adapt to the social, political and economic security challenges and opportunities faced during the migratory process. These challenges and opportunities may include (but are not restricted to):

– Violence and poverty as drivers of migration

– Security threats to people in places of origin, along the migration route or in host societies

– Relationships between people in the places to which migrants move (including actual and perceived conflicts over resources, identity, space)

– The impact of political and policy narratives which associate migration and migrants with a threat to human security

– The political, economic and physical security challenges that shape people’s lives in the place of arrival

– The strategies adopted by migrants to access and mobilise resources in order to overcome challenges to their security

We welcome proposals for papers on any of these themes. The panel will be chaired by Professor Heaven Crawley (Coventry University). Please send abstracts of up to 200 words and your name, organisation and contact details to Dr Simon McMahon at<>.

Deadline for abstract submission: 9th January 2015

EISA deadline for panel submission: 15th January 2015