Event: Sept. 21, 2017 Border Securitization Multiple: Authority, Nationalism and Solidarity in the 2015 Asylum Reception in Finland

Speaker: Dr. Eeava-Kaisa Prokkola

This presentation discusses the securitization of the northern Finnish-Swedish border crossing point in Tornio from the perspective sovereignty, authority, nationalism and solidarity. In 2015, Europe witnessed the largest influx of asylum-seekers and migrants since WWII, challenging the principles of free internal mobility and humanitarianism on which the union was built. Finland received 32 476 asylums, a tenfold level compared with the previous years. The town of Tornio formed the key route for asylum-seekers and migrants arriving in Finland and a site for state intervention and militarization as hundreds of state officials, border guards, police and servicemen were temporarily resettled in the town to control the border crossing and to register the asylums. The responsibilities for organizing the reception and maintenance of asylum-seekers were shared between the state authorities and NGOs whose representatives were accused by nationalistic groups for providing support for unauthorized migrants. The mobilization of local vigilantes and patrols in the name of citizen security aimed to question the effectiveness of stakeholder actions and the authority of state in securitization. The study employs a border securitization multiple approach which means that securitization is approached as a series of enacted discursive practices by various actors, thus enabling us to unpack the multiple versions of the struggle over authority and securitization of Finnish borders. The border securitization multiple approach complicates prevailing understanding of securitization as a state effort and provides a picture of a more hybrid securitization landscape.

About the speaker:

Eeva-Kaisa Prokkola is a Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer in Regional Policy and Development at the Department of Geography, University of Oulu, Finland. She holds the title of Docent in Human Geography and Border Studies at the University of Eastern Finland. She has published papers on the theme of borders, border management, migration, tourism and spatial identity with a particular focus on the EU and Schengen borders in international journals such as Political Geography, Antipode, Social & Cultural Geography, Environment and Planning A, Geopolitics, Tourism Geographies and Citizenship Studies. Currently she works as a Vice Director and Senior Research Fellow in the research consortium of Multilayered Borders of Global Security (GLASE).

A light lunch will be served. Please register via email to [email protected].

News: Gunn Award Deadline Extended to September 1st, 2017!

Extended Deadline 2017! Gunn Award for Best Historical Essay on International Migration in Canada.

Click Here for submission details.

Welcome from New IMRC Directors

Dear colleagues,

Summer’s greetings from the IMRC! We hope that this finds you immersed in fruitful field research, cool summer activities, and rest.

We are writing to announce our arrival as new directors at the IMRC, to introduce you to the Centre’s new Administrative Assistant Kirsten Pries, and to thank outgoing directors Drs. Jenna Hennebry and Margaret Walton-Roberts. As founding directors, Jenna and Margaret established a thriving Centre and set a high bar for IMRC activity. We have been grateful to enjoy the Centre as an intellectual and politically-engaged home, and look forward to contributing to the life of the Centre with the same energy and spirit of inclusion and meaningful engagement established by Margaret and Jenna.

Many of you proposed stimulating ideas at the general meeting held at the Balsillie School of International Affairs last fall, and we are excited to implement and move forward with these ideas. In the months ahead, you can expect to hear from us about upcoming lectures, films, conferences, committees, and roaming coffee klatches. We will be embarking on a five-year visioning exercise for the Centre, and also have a new communications strategy in the works (thanks to Shawna Reibling and Research Services!).

We would like the opportunity to share your work with broader communities and are eager to showcase the wonderful research being carried out by affiliated students, faculty, and visiting scholars. The extent of collaboration across campuses and international boundaries is impressive. We want to see you and hear what you have been up to.

Please check out the updated website when you have a chance (imrc.ca), let us know any thoughts you have, and look for messages from us over the usual channels: the IMRC email listserve, twitter (@imrconline), and facebook (@internationalmigrationresearchcentre).

We look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead to continue to build a vibrant intellectual home for research and public engagement at the IMRC.


Alison Mountz (Director) and Kim Rygiel (Associate Director)