International migration has been steadily increasing in every region of the globe
since the end of World War II. In recent times, individual mobility has increased
enormously. Today, approximately 200 million people live outside the country where
they were born, while tens of millions of people regularly cross borders. International
mobility is part of a broader trend of globalisation, which includes trade in goods and
services, investments and capital flows, greater ease of travel, and a veritable
explosion of information. While trade and capital flows are often regarded as the twin
pillars of globalisation, migration is often overlooked, especially among scholars of
international relations.

Executive Summary
International migration is a key issue of our time. Large-scale international migration
into Europe became a key issue across the region in the summer of 2015, when
more than one million people arrived on Europe’s shores; most of them were fleeing
political and/or economic turmoil. Specific issues included the multifaceted aftermath
of the Arab Spring; continuing political, social, and economic ramifications of Syria’s
civil war; declining state capacity in Iraq and Pakistan; state collapse in Afghanistan;
and intra-Muslim sectarian violence across much of the Middle East. These
individual factors coalesced in the context of globalisation and its effects upon
national sovereignty. In Europe, right-wing populists are thriving on the divisions
linked to these developments. In the USA, the Republican presidential candidate,
Donald Trump, is building impressive electoral support. He claims that, as president,
he would stop illegal migration from Mexico into the USA by building an impassable
wall on America’s southern border, which he would compel ‘Mexico to pay for’.

Today, political conditions in both Europe and the USA are reflective of many
people’s approach to politics: they fear ‘uncontrolled migration’. This was manifested
recently in the UK, where the vote to ‘Brexit’ from the European Union reflected a
widespread belief that migration into the UK was ‘out of control’. Add to this the
impact – and fear – of Islamist terrorism, and the result is an unprecedented
‘securitisation’ of international migration in Europe and the USA. This commentary
focuses on the interactions between national sovereignty, globalisation, and the
securitisation of international migration.

Policy recommendations:

• significant, additional humanitarian assistance;
• more resettlement places for refugees;
• renewed focus on jobs creation;
• more and better public education about what drives migration and what
should be done about it;
• civil society organisations should mobilise, encouraging those in power to
action;
• migrants and refugees seeking admittance to Europe should seek asylum in
the first country they arrive in.

Download full text (PDF)

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the original author(s) and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views and opinions of the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, its co-founders, or its staff members.

SHARE
PreviousWPFDC and DOC Pay Tribute to a Statesman of Peace, Reconciliation and Dialogue
NextThe Urge for Dialogue in a New Multipolar World
Jeff teaches in the area of religion and politics/international relations. He currently supervises a number of postgraduate research students and welcomes further applications from suitably qualified candidates. Please apply via the University's research degrees page. If you would like an informal conversation about applying for PhD in the faculty, please contact Jeff at 020 7133 5080 or at jeff.haynes@londonmet.ac.uk. Jeff is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of more than 40 books. The most recent are Faith-based Organizations at the United Nations (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and the Routledge Handbook of Religion and Politics (2nd. ed., London: Routledge, 2016). You can see a list of Jeff's books on Amazon. During 2015-17, Jeff is undertaking research into the United Nations entity 'Alliance of Civilizations' as part of a large research initiative funded by the USA-based John Templeton Foundation's, 'Enhancing Life Project.' Both a book and several research papers will result from this research. Jeff is convenor of the European Consortium for Political Research’s Religion and Politics Standing Group, with more than 190 active members, chair of the International Political Science Association’s Research Committee, ‘Religion and Politics’ and co-editor of the journal, Democratization, published seven times a year by Taylor and Francis.