Project

Back to overview

Migration and security in Switzerland: Evolution and present status of its link in politics and law (part II)

English title Migration and security in Switzerland: Evolution and present status of its link in politics and law (part II)
Applicant Achermann Christin
Number 146037
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Centre de droit des migrations Université de Neuchâtel
Institution of higher education Université de Neuchâtel - NE
Disciplines Sociology
Start/End 01.05.2013 - 30.11.2014
Approved amount 116'160.00
Show all

Keywords (5)

Migration law, Switzerland, Migration, Migration politics, Security

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
In der aktuellen schweizerischen Migrationspolitik spielen Sicherheitsargumente und -praktiken eine wichtige Rolle. Die Studie geht in einer rechtssoziologischen Perspektive der Frage nach, was in einem bestimmten Zusammenhang mit „Sicherheit“ gemeint ist und wie Migration zu einem Sicherheitsthema wird.
Lay summary

Eine der zentralen Aufgaben eines Staates ist es, für die Sicherheit seiner BürgerInnen und des Staatswesens zu sorgen. Wird ein gesellschaftliches Phänomen durch Diskurse oder Praktiken mit Sicherheitsfragen in Verbindung gebracht, erlangt es grosse politische Bedeutung und geniesst hohe Legitimität. In der Schweiz ist der Zusammenhang von Migrationspolitik und Sicherheit bislang nicht systematisch untersucht worden.

Ziel der Studie ist es, die Verknüpfung von Migration mit Sicherheitsthemen in der schweizerischen Migrationspolitik und im Migrationsrecht seit Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts zu analysieren. Die ersten Analysen zeigen, dass der Bezug zu Sicherheitsthemen bei der Erarbeitung und den Revisionen der drei zentralen Rechtstexte, welche die Einreise sowie Aufenthaltsbedingungen und Verbleib von AusländerInnen in der Schweiz regeln, eine zentrale Rolle spielen. Im Verlauf des 20. Jahrhunderts haben sich allerdings die Kategorien von ZuwandererInnen, die als bedrohlich dargestellt werden, was genau als bedroht gilt und welche Massnahmen im Interesse an Sicherheit vorgeschlagen werden, stetig gewandelt.

Die Untersuchung stützt sich v.a. auf parlamentarische Debatten, Gesetzestexte und die Rechtsprechung sowie auf ausgewählte Interviews mit Fachpersonen. Nach einer zweijährigen Phase der Datensichtung, -eingrenzung und -codierung (siehe dazu Projekt Nr. 10007_134849) steht im dritten Projektjahr die vertiefte Datenanalyse im Mittelpunkt, bei welcher vergleichenden Fragen besondere Bedeutung beigemessen wird.

Die Studie möchte einerseits Aufschluss darüber geben, wie Sicherheit als Legitimation für vielfältige gesellschaftliche Ausschliessungsprozesse mobilisiert wird. Andererseits zielt das Projekt darauf, die Schweiz im internationalen migrationspolitischen Kontext zu positionieren und einen breiteren Beitrag zum Verständnis der Verknüpfung von Migration mit Sicherheit zu leisten.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 12.04.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
State reluctance to use alternatives to detention
de Senarclens Clément (2013), State reluctance to use alternatives to detention, in Forced Migration Review, (44), 60-62.
La lutte contre les abus dans le domaine de l'asile: émergence et développement d'un discours structurant le droit d'asile suisse
Frei Nula, Gordzielik Teresia, de Senarclens Clément, Leyvraz Anne-Cécile, Stünzi Robin (2014), La lutte contre les abus dans le domaine de l'asile: émergence et développement d'un discours structurant le droit d'asile suisse, in jusletter, (17.03.2014), 1.
La détention administrative en Suisse: une exception faite règle?
de Senarclens Clément (2013), La détention administrative en Suisse: une exception faite règle?, in Antigone, 8(1), 28.
Discipline and Punish? Analysis of immigration detention purposes in Europe
de Senarclens Clément, Majcher Izabella (accepted), Discipline and Punish? Analysis of immigration detention purposes in Europe, in AmeriQuest.

Co-operation

Group / person Country
Fields of collaboration
Prof. Julia Eckert, Institut für Sozialanthropologie, Universität Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Centre de droit des migrations, Univ. BE, FR, NE Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Maison d'analyse des processus sociaux MAPS, Université de Neuchâtel Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Prof. Elspeth Guild, Centre for Migration Law/ Radboud University Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Prof. Nicholas De Genova, King's College Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Prof. Gallya Lahav, State University of New York at Stony Brook United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place
The Migration-Security Nexus: The case of Switzerland in international perspective Talk given at a conference 13.11.2014 Université Neuchâtel, Switzerland
The Migration-Security Nexus: The case of Switzerland in international perspective Talk given at a conference 13.11.2014 Université Neuchâtel, Switzerland
The Migration-Security Nexus: The case of Switzerland in international perspective Talk given at a conference 13.11.2014 Université Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Securitisation: Globalised States Asserting Power? Talk given at a conference 26.06.2014 Berne, Switzerland
Rencontres scientifiques MAPS Individual talk 25.02.2014 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
SVPW-­‐ASSP 2014 -­‐ Public Policy Workshop Talk given at a conference 31.01.2014 Berne, Switzerland


Self-organised

Title Date Place
The Migration-Security Nexus: The case of Switzerland in international perspective 13.11.2014 Université Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Speeches / events / exhibitions Maintien des frontières ou de la sécurité? Réflexions autour de l'expulsion des étrangers en Suisse Vivre ensemble Western Switzerland 2014

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
134849 Migration and security in Switzerland: Evolution and present status of its link in politics and law 01.05.2011 Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)

Abstract

This document constitutes a request for continued funding of our ongoing research project on migration and security in Switzerland. Since the end of the 20th century, the nexus between security issues and migration has become more prominent in major countries of immigration, both among policy-makers and researchers. In the literature, this linkage is referred to as the ‘securitization of migration’ or ‘the migration-security nexus’ and has become an important field of knowledge characterized by three main orientations: a focus on European and US contexts, the dominance of International Relations and political sciences, and a tendency to focus on our con-temporary concerns. In this respect, the present project aims to fill certain gaps in research as it explores the Swiss situation, adopts an inductive and empirical perspective and has a historical interest as it examines the migration-security nexus from the beginning of the 20th century until the present. The proposed study uses the notion of security as characterized by three constitutive elements: the existence of a threat (1) that endangers a referent object (2) and thus creates a necessity for emergency measures (3). The project is situated in the tradition of critical security studies which argue for a reflexive conception of security and use the ‘securitization’ theory to analyze discourses and practices addressing migration issues within a security framework. Our approach aims to analyse the securitization process in and through the elaboration and application of the law. The project’s first part principally investigates whether migration has been framed as a security issue in Swiss politics and law, and which specific notions of security have prevailed in different contexts. The analysis of texts (reports and records of parliamentary debates) produced by the federal parliament and administrations during the legislative process has shown security rhetoric to be central to the elaboration and revision of the three main federal laws regulating foreigners’ entry into, and the conditions of their stay on, Swiss territory. Findings from preliminary analyses suggest that security’s meaning in the context of Swiss migration politics and law has transformed significantly throughout the 20th century and in the different areas of migration regulation as regards the categories of immigrants perceived as a threat, the diversity of referent objects and the measures proposed to guarantee security. This application for continued funding aims to deepen this analysis and especially to invest in the various comparative aspects which promise to be of particular interest. Having shown that there is evidence of migration’s recurrent securitization in Swiss law and politics, our main research questions for the second part are as follows: How is migration, in Swiss politics and law, securitized and what implications do these processes have? When used in the context of migration politics and law, what understandings of security can be identified? What differences and parallels regarding securitizing processes and regarding the understanding of security do we find at different moments, in different fields of migration law and politics and being used by different actors? How does the Swiss case compare to other countries? To answer these questions, we will continue to analyse the written data already collected and plan to carry out a number of expert interviews with selected specialists - members of parliament and federal administrations, and judges and clerks of the federal courts - in order to discuss particular incidents and our preliminary findings. A study of the link between migration and security in Switzerland is warranted not only due to the aforemen-tioned gap in research, but also because it is of general societal interest. As securitizing processes imply the symbolic, legal and practiced exclusion of people who are considered to be a threat to society, a deeper under-standing of the meanings of security and threat, of what lies behind such framing processes, of what implications such processes may have, as well as a critical view of the evolution of this link over time all seem necessary.