EU Border technologies and the co-production of security ‘problems’ and ‘solutions’

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Martins, Bruno Oliveira & Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert (2020) EU Border technologies and the co-production of security ‘problems’ and ‘solutions’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2020.1851470.

Reviewed, pre-typeset version is embargoed until 18 June 2022
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​This article contributes to an understanding of how expert technological knowledge impacts the security-migration management nexus at the EU borders. It argues that recent migration flows augmented pre-existing dynamics of growing reliance upon technology in EU border management. These dynamics are assessed through a study of the way emerging technologies, in particular Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV, commonly known as drones), and specific information and surveillance technologies installed on them, have become increasingly understood as crucial for the management of migration into the EU. The article synthesises securitisation theory with Science and Technology Studies to show, first, how the values reflected in border technologies often encapsulate a securitised understanding of the migrant, and second, how the migrants arriving in Europe have been characterised as both potential security threats and as individuals in need of rescue and protection. These frames trigger securitisation dynamics that portray the migration issue as amenable to state-of-the-art technology. In this logic, security ‘problems’ and security ‘solutions’ are co-produced within a complex multi-layered network of public and private actors.

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