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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

People as security risks: the framing of migration in the UK security-development nexus

Abstract

The migration of people across international borders has long been an area of concern for the UK and was a key issue in the public debate surrounding Brexit. This paper examines this preoccupation with the movement of people in the context of the coordination of security and development in UK government policy. The UK responded to the migration crisis of 2015 by announcing the diversion of significant development funding to prevent the movement of people. This paper examines the UK development policy discourse of the past 2 decades through an analysis of key policy documents from the UK's Department for International Development (DfID) and traces the changing ways in which the issue of migration has been framed in DfID's policy. It argues that in UK development policy, whereas migration used to be discussed in terms of how it impacts on poorer countries, migration is now framed as a risk to UK national security. Development aid is now framed as a solution to the problem of migration. This paper argues that this is consistent with a broader shift in the merging of security and development in UK policy where development aid is expected to address potential risks to UK national security.

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Journal

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Author

Eamonn McConnon (Ireland)

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