UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of movement and order : the securitization of migration in Canada and France Bourbeau, Philippe


This dissertation is about the movement of people and the system of order underpinning the movement. In undertaking a comparative study of Canada and France between 1989 and 2005, the study explores a widespread phenomenon that security studies and migration scholars would have considered an anomaly only two decades ago: understanding the movement of people as an existential security threat. How is it that nation-states around the globe are cracking down on migration for security reasons? How do we know if migration has been securitized - and which criteria should we employed to guide our analysis? What are the social mechanisms at play in the interaction between movement and order? Does a variation in levels of securitized migration exist - and if so, what are the key determinants of the variation? These questions are at the heart of the present study. My argument is twofold. First, I contend that a constructivist perspective is useful in gaining a better understanding of the social mechanisms involved in the securitization of migration as it highlights discursive power, ideational factors, and cultural/contextual elements. Second, I argue that securitization theory - the current benchmark in securitization research - remains silent on the issue of variation in levels of securitized migration. As such, securitization theory, as currently applied and organized, cannot explain empirical findings of my study - a weak securitization in Canada versus a strong securitization in France. Underscoring the necessity to amend securitization theory, I investigate the impact of cultural factors - and especially the role of domestic audience - to account for the variation.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International