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Securitization and (In)security Practices in Europe: The Case of Frontex

Daniel Edler

This paper criticizes part of the literature on international security that advocates for the expansion of the field's agenda, evidencing the ethical and political consequences of adopting the securitisation perspective and the rhetoric of exceptionalism while analysing social issues. In this sense, the theoretical contributions of the Copenhagen School to the interpretations of the European Union (EU) policy of boarder control are addressed. This work has as its conductive line the different visions on the creation of the Frontex, an agency that, depite being accused of desrespecting the rights of immigrants, became the main producer of knowledge on the risks to European boarders. Informed by a Bourdisian methodology, this paper intends to trace the discourse and practices of security specialists and EU bureaucrats that supported the creation of Frontex and the construction of smart borders around the Schengen area. Finally, the contribution of the International Political Sociology field to security studies is also addressed, mainly through the work of Didier Bigo and Jef Huysmans. This perspective highlights the main problems of widening the security agenda and its impact in the Liberal State, demonstrating that there is a drastic modification in the forms of governance, with restrictions to individual freedoms on behalf of an alleged increase in protection. Thereby, the object of this paper is both the Copenhagen School literature, understanding its practical limitations and political silences, and Frontex itself, whose operations are empirical evidences of illiberal practices of democratic states.

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