Discursive and Institutional Management of Refugees and Their Crisis in Lithuania

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Abstract

In this article, Lithuanian discourse and institutional management of migration is assessed, using the framework of securitization of migration offered by Jef Huysmans. In Huysmans’ work, migration is securitized not only in discourse, but also in the institutional practices of both the states and, in the case of Europe, also the EU. It is not only by talking about asylum seekers as a security problem, but also by moulding it into the practice of border control and policing (treating it in the same documents and institutions as terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime) that migration becomes a security issue. In the Lithuanian case, both discourse and institutional practice leans to treat immigration and asylum as primarily security problems. In the discursive arena, however, the topics of ‘hard’ security are clearly eclipsed by economic topics and, it is argued, the economic pressures are the ones which could explain best the hostility towards refugees and reluctant compliance with the EU relocation scheme.

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