Transnational organised crime, immigration and security : a study of Norwegian immigration Policy

Thompson, Erik (2014-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research study discusses the extent to which transnational organised crime (TOC) has had an impact on Norwegian immigration policy. There has been a public debate in Norway about the involvement of asylum seekers in various forms of organised crime, leading immigration authorities to lament their insufficient resources and means to tackle the problem. Simultaneously, restrictive amendments have been made to the Norwegian Immigration Act, suggesting that immigration law is applied against TOC. The aim of the study is to understand why there has been a change in Norwegian immigration policy, and to discuss the effects and implications of the change. The study is a single-case study using qualitative methods, as the study seeks to provide a detailed description of Norwegian immigration policy and the context in which the changes in the immigration policy have been made. The case of Norway has been chosen because of the increasing focus that TOC has been receiving from Norwegian immigration authorities, accompanied by broad media coverage and restrictive amendments to the Immigration Act. The theories that are applied – criminologies of the self and the other, crimmigration, and securitisation theory – are all chosen because they address different aspects of “us” and “them” thinking. The study argues that the increased focus on transnational organised crime in Norwegian crime statistics reflects the narrative of the criminal other, found in criminologies of the self and the other. Within this narrative the criminal others are distinctly different from ordinary citizens of society and must be excluded for our own security and protection. This contributes to reinforcement of a discourse in which asylum seekers and illegal immigrants become difficult to distinguish from suspicious others and criminals. Accordingly, there is support for the claim that Norwegian immigration policy has been subject to a process of crimmigration. Further, it is found that Norwegian immigration policy has been securitised. It is concluded that although there might be a connection between transnational organised crime and a shift in immigration policy, the change in immigration policy is rather a result of the larger issue of immigration in general. The theoretical framework shows how immigration becomes framed within a security and criminal context, leading to a narrative where the other becomes a potential threat to members of society. This is problematic in a world where inequality is on the rise, and international conventions on human rights are at odds with punitive populism.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsingstudie bespreek tot watter mate transnasionale georganiseerde misdaad ʼn impak gehad het op Noorweë se immigrasiebeleid. ʼn Openbare debat is in Noorweë gevoer oor die betrokkenheid van asielsoekers by verskeie vorme van georganiseerde misdaad, wat daartoe gelei het dat immigrasie-owerhede beswaar gemaak het teen die onvoldoende hulpbronne en middele wat tot hul beskikking is om die probleem aan te spreek. Terselfdertyd is beperkende wysigings in Noorweë se immigrasiewet aangebring wat aandui dat immigrasiereg teen transnasionale georganiseerde misdaad aangewend moet word. Die doel van hierdie studie was om te verstaan waarom ʼn verandering in Noorweë se immigrasiebeleid aangebring is en om die gevolge en implikasies van hierdie verandering te ondersoek. ʼn Enkele gevallestudie is in hierdie studie onderneem en daar is gebruik gemaak van kwalitatiewe metodes om die navorser in staat te stel om ʼn gedetailleerde beskrywing te gee van Noorweë se immigrasiebeleid en die konteks waarbinne die veranderinge in hierdie beleid aangebring is. Noorweë is as gevallestudie gekies as gevolg van die toenemende fokus wat deur Noorweegse immigrasieowerhede op transnasionale georganiseerde misdaad geplaas word, vergesel van omvattende mediadekking, en die beperkende wysigings wat in die immigrasiewet aangebring is. Die teorieë wat in hierdie studie aangewend is – kriminologie oor die “self” en die “ander”, “krimigrasie” (crimmigration) en sekerheidsteorie – is gekies op grond daarvan dat hulle verskillende aspekte van denke oor “ons” (die “self”) en “hulle” (die “ander”) aanspreek. In hierdie studie word daar geargumenteer dat die toenemende fokus op transnasionale georganiseerde misdaad in Noorweegse misdaadstatistiek die narratief van die kriminele “ander” reflekteer, waarna daar in die kriminologie oor die “self” en die “ander” verwys word. In hierdie narratief word ʼn duidelike onderskeid tussen die kriminele “ander” en die “gewone” burgers getref en die kriminele moet ter wille van hierdie burgers se veiligheid en beskerming uitgesluit word van die samelewing. Dit dra by tot die versterking van ʼn diskoers waarin dit moeilik word om asielsoekers en onwettige immigrante van verdagtes en kriminele te onderskei. Dienooreenkomstig daarmee is daar steun vir die bewering dat Noorweë se immigrasiebeleid onderworpe is aan ʼn krimigrasieproses. Verder is daar bevind dat Noorweë se immigrasiebeleid aangepas is deur dit binne ʼn sekerheidsraamwerk te plaas. Daar is tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat alhoewel daar ʼn verband tussen transnasionale georganiseerde misdaad en ʼn verskuiwing in immigrasiebeleid mag wees, die verandering in immigrasiebeleid eerder ʼn gevolg is van die groter kwessie rondom immigrasie in die algemeen. Die teoretiese raamwerk dui aan hoe immigrasie geskets word in ʼn sekuriteits- en kriminele konteks, wat lei tot ʼn narratief waar die “ander” ʼn potensiële bedreiging vir lede van die samelewing word. Dit is problematies in ʼn wêreld waar ongelykheid toeneem en internasionale konvensies oor menseregte strydig is met strafbare populisme.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97134
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