Part or chapter of a book
The politicization and securitization of migration in Western Europe: Public opinion, political parties and the immigration issue’
Handbook on Migration and Security
Cheltenham : Edward Elgar Publishing
This chapter focuses on the link between immigration and security from the point of view of public opinion and party politicization. First, we critically review and systematize the growing research investigating the immigration-security nexus in public opinion and party politics studies, providing the conceptual and analytical tools for understanding the political dynamics that led to the securitization of immigration in European polities. Second, the chapter builds upon available multinational survey data to question when and how the idea of immigration as a security concern first emerged, and when it came to dominate public opinion across countries. Third, the chapter uses party manifesto data to explore the way political parties in Western Europe address immigration affairs, focusing salience, positions and the relative importance of security aspects. In so doing, this chapter not only offers an innovative exploration of the discursive construction of immigration by political parties, but it also provides a quantitative assessment of securitization theories, offering an empirical overview of the parallel development of the security framework in public opinion and in party competition.