Violent Democracy: Migration, Terrorism and the Politics of Insecurity
Board Room, 2 Priory Road
Centre for Ethnicity and Citizenship Seminar Series
This seminar is held jointly with the Global Insecurities Centre.
Board Room, 2 Priory Road - Thursday 21st April, 4pm
This talk was delivered by Guest Speaker Jef Huysmans from Queen Mary University of London
Major refugee crises and terrorist violence in Paris have played a defining role in the politics of insecurity in Europe in the autumn of 2015. I will explore how these two series of events are connected. At stake is not the alleged use of the refugee crises and asylum process to gain entry to Europe but rather a broader development towards the enactment of violent democracy. Violent democracy refers to a political form in which democratic politics displaces conflicts expressed in terms of social stratification with conflicts organised around organic differentiations of identities, a fear of small numbers, and insecurities and anxieties. In violent democracy the fact and prospect of violence as well as the use of violence, both by political authorities and groups within and across societies, become a central instrument and defining matter of politics. One of the key challenges of the contemporary politics of insecurity in Europe is to focus less on the spectacles of insecurity, terrorism and migration and more on how European societies and politics continue to reinforce the development of violent democracy and the political practices that enact democracy and conflicts differently.