The Securitisation - Integration Dilemma: The Case of British Muslims
Keywords:securitisation, othering, immigrant integration, Britain, Muslim
This article analyses securitisation of the integration of British Muslims by mainstream British politics from 2001 to 2015. Discourse and policy of consecutive Labour and Conservative-led governments regarding integration are evaluated with respect to securitisation criteria set forth by the Copenhagen School, as revised by the Paris School. Institutionalisation of a common discourse legitimising policy was inquired through the examination of intertextuality between political and bureaucratic discourse, party positions during terms of government and opposition. Findings demonstrate that British mainstream politics has been dominated by securitisation of Muslims’ integration, in the form of a ‘politics of unease’ rather than a ‘politics of exception’. Muslims have been othered, first by ‘logic of equivalence’ as immigrants (2001-2005), then by ‘logic of difference’ as integrated Muslims versus potential terrorists (2005-2015). Although the integration approach appears inclusive of Muslims, securitisation framing inhibits the desired integration due to its othering characteristics.
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