Cite as: Poelma, R.T., 2019, "The European securitisation of migration assemblage: A practices of joint operation Poseidon 2018 in Lesvos". Master Thesis in Conflict Studies & Human Rights, Ultrecht University.
During the summer of 2018, on the Aegean island of Lesvos, an alliance of European actors consisting of over seventy security officers employed under the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex, one or two Europol officers, and hundreds of Greek security officers, collaborated under what is referred to as Joint Operation Poseidon 2018. Informed and framed by European responses to the influx of asylum seekers in 2015/2016, most notably: The Hotspot system and the EU-Turkey Statement, these actors executed a highly technical and operationalized mission in the midst of an ongoing humanitarian crisis in refugee camp Moria. This research aims to understand how this European security ensemble has emerged in Lesvos and how it is able to
operate regardless of human rights violations in Lesvos. In order to capture and analyse the entire heteronormative set of elements that constitute this security ensemble, I draw on an analytic frame called “practices of assemblage” to formulate the following research question: How has the “European Securitisation of Migration Assemblage” taken shape and how and why is it able to endure, within and regardless of an ongoing humanitarian crisis in Hotspot and refugee camp Moria, on the Greek island of Lesvos, in the summer of 2018? By applying an assemblage analysis to the securitisation of migration practices and discourse, this thesis aims to make a methodological and academic contribution to the field of securitisation theory. Through careful analysis of primary and secondary sources as well as ethnographic fieldwork during the summer of 2018, this thesis aims to illuminate responsibility and accountability lines surrounding the inhumane situation in Lesvos.
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