Christopher Baker-Beall
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Constructing the ‘migrant’ other
Globalisation, securitisation and control
in The European Union’s fight against terrorism
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Chapter Four explores the strand of the ‘fight against terrorism’ discourse that constructs the ‘openness’ of EU society as ‘vulnerable’ to the threat of terrorism. This chapter focuses on how the discourse implicitly constructs the ‘migrant’ other as a potential terrorist threat through the linking of counter-terrorism to migration and border control policies. The first part of the chapter identifies three intertwined strands of the ‘fight against terrorism’ discourse. First, the idea that the EU’s ‘globalised’ or ‘open’ society represents a potential source of terrorist threat. Second, a discourse of ‘surveillance’ and ‘control’, which operates to justify and legitimise the counter-response to the threat. Third, in response to the phenomena of EU citizens leaving to fight in conflicts in other parts of the world, the construction of the figure of the ‘returning foreign fighter’. The second half of the chapter shows how the EU has invoked the terrorist threat in order to legitimise ever increasingly sophisticated policies, practices and measures aimed at the ‘control’ of the ‘migrant’ other. It is argued that this is reflective of and helps to contribute to wider securitisation processes within the EU.

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The European Union’s fight against terrorism

Discourse, policies, identity


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