Migration-Based Threat

Led by Jørgen Carling
Jan 2007 - Sep 2009

This is a sub-project of the project 'Europe under threat' which addresses six empirical cases of non-conventional insecurity in Europe, including migration. The sub-project 'Migration-based threat' elaborates upon the project Europe and the developing world: Confronting migration pressure.

The aim of this sub-project is to refine and re-examine the notion of migration-related threats to security and analyze the changing constellation of such threats in Europe. The nature of perceived migration-based threats to security has changed from concern with the presence of population groups with loyalties to foregn states, to alarm over the State’s inability to control the influx of undocumented migrants, to renewed anxieties about the transnational practices and loyalties of settled immigrants. The growing presence of particularly vulnerable migrant groups, coupled with the recent interest in human security also raises new security concerns. The picture today is a complex one that calls for a critical re-examination of the migration-security nexus. This sub-project will address this need at the conceptual level, and combine it with empirical examination of recent events and debates in Europe. The empirical analysis will focus on external border control issues and the related security concerns - including both the safeguarding of territorial integrity and the protection of migrants who expose themselves to danger in order to circumvent control mechanisms. The theoretical and conceptual part of the sub-project will be based on a survey of both academic literature (secondary sources) and media and policy documents (primary sources). The empirical analyses will be based on the same primary sources, supplemented with statistical data on migrant interceptions and fatalities at external borders.


Research Groups


Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Carling, Jørgen & María Hernández-Carretero (2011) Protecting Europe and Protecting Migrants? Strategies for Managing Unauthorised Migration from Africa, British Journal of Politics and International Relations 13(1): 42–58.

Non-refereed Journal Article

Carling, Jørgen (2007) The Merits and Limitations of Spain's High-Tech Border Control, Migration Information Source.

Master Thesis

Hernández-Carretero, María (2008) Risk-taking in Unauthorised Migration. MA thesis, Centre for Peace Studies, University of Tromsø.

Conference Paper

Carling, Jørgen & María Hernández-Carretero (2008) Kamikaze Migrants? Understanding and Tackling High-risk Migration from Africa, presented at Narratives of Migration Management and Cooperation with Countries of Origin and Transit, Sussex Centre for Migration Research, University of Sussex, 18–19 September.

PRIO Policy Brief

Hernández Carretero, María (2009) Reconciling Border Control with the Human Aspects of Unauthorized Migration, PRIO Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: PRIO.

Report - Other

Carling, Jørgen (2007) European Strategies for Reducing 'Unwanted' Immigration, DIIS Brief. Copenhagen: Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS).