Securitization of Migration Perceptions of Police and Market Actors in Greece: A Comparative Study in the Islands of Crete and Lesvos
Kotroyannos, Leonidas D.
Migration is a multifaceted issue with a variety of research implications. In the case of Greece, the migration / refugee crisis of 2015 has been the subject of security centered policies since its beginning. Migration practices in Greece in conjunction with official statements (speech acts) from political and generally security actors, such as the police, suggest that migration in Greece has been securitized. The Greek police are a significant security actor that conveys important security messages and exerts significant influence on the public, since their role lies in the maintaining of public order. Yet, their role in the securitization of migration in Greece has been largely unexplored. Market actors are also an important driving force in attitude shaping at the labor market. Thus, the aim of this paper is twofold. First to explore and illustrate the perceptions and attitudes of the Greek police pertaining to migration and its relation to security and second to investigate whether these perceptions do exert influence on Greek market actors in the respective research areas (Crete and Lesvos), thus impeding the migrants’/refugees’ integration in the labor market of Greece. In order to do so, a mixed methodology is used, applying both quantitative (structured interviews with police officers) and qualitative (semi-structured interviews with entrepreneurs) methods, so as to investigate whether police officers’ stances reinforce market actors’ perceptions on refugees with an emphasis on the economic sector of security as referred to by the Copenhagen School. The research was carried out in the Greek islands of Crete and Lesvos. These diverse geographical areas were chosen due to their different socio-economic conditions as well as due to their different migrant/refugee flows, hence providing fertile ground for optimal research outcomes.