Martime Piracy and Societal Security in Southeast Asia

Here we came to the burning necessity of answering main part of this paper's question: It's not whether it is possible to think of migrants as a security issue in contemporary Europe but if it is desirable to do so. Question is then whether we should normalise or securitise the issue of migration – probably one of most important in contemporary Europe and possibly most important one for the future of the latter. The shift away from a permissive and liberal immigration policy to a control – oriented approach coincided with the economic recession of the 1973 (caused mainly by the fuel crisis).

The subsequent politicisation of migration in Western liberal democracies occurred along three dimensions: – entry into the territory; – cultural identity; – and, access to the institution of the welfare state. Deep post Cold-War reconfiguration of international relations system and following notion to, to the list of important security questions attach those of non – military type, meaning environmental, economic and societal security caused a change in perceiving migration – lately becoming a security issue.

The technological progress and higher interest rates in the 1980's led to the restructuring of the labour market with growing unemployment and increasing demand for a qualified labour force. The limits of the welfare states become more and more obvious. Illegal immigrants substituted legal immigrants. Second, new social conflicts emerged, visible above all in French cities like Paris, Lyon and Marseilles. Finally, with the destruction of the iron curtain new immigrants flows from Eastern Europe arrived in Western Europe. This direction of migration flow is yet somewhat different.

At least its perception by migration-targeted states is different. Due of their cultural and historical ties to Europe, East Europe migrants gained Advantages over immigrants coming from Mediterranean (being – actually – THE main migration source5 for Western Europe). The 1999 Eurobarometer opinion poll question: "Are the benefits form the presence of immigrants from non-European Union countries? " brought quite interesting results. 40 per cent answered YES and 48% said their country would be "better off" without their presence.

This shows the hardship of policy makers trying to carry out migration policies: an important number of the public opinion is not in favour of an integration policy. The 1957 Treaty of Rome, which established European Economic Community (EEC), laid down freedom of movement of workers (along with free movement of capital, goods and services). However, this only referred to workers moving between the original six member states. The much larger flows from outside the EEC were seen as a matter for national regulation.

The unplanned settlement and emergence of multicultural societies in EU countries led to differing national responses. Mid 1980's common migration and integration policy cooperation was non existent. Schengen Agreement (1985) gave birth to freedom of movement zone (within fixed borders of states). But Schengen was not a part of the European Community framework, and initially included only France, Germany and the Benelux. Efforts and cooperation within EC developed in late 1980's, and were given addend impetus by the Maastricht Treaty offer.

Amsterdam Treaty of 1957 established community competence in the areas of migration and sylum. Articles 61, 62 and 63 defined policy objectives with regard to migration, asylum, the free movement of persons, visas, rules governing the crossing of the EU's external borders and the rights of nationals of third countries. The Treaty come to force on May 1st 1999 and common measures are to be adopted by 2004 (with the exception of immigration controls, and rights of third country nationals). The European Council meeting in Tampere in October 1999 laid down principles for a common policy.

These included four main elements: – the more efficient management of migration flows; – a common European asylum system; – partnership with countries of origin; and, fair treatment of third country nationals6. Europe's capitals perceive question of migration control as a main problem of national sovereignty and identity. This being the case, it became important to transfer competence between state and European Union institutions level. All in all, particular European governments as well as European Commission came to a conclusion that restrictive policy is not the best way to safe-handle migration.

In December 1992, the Edinburgh European Council called for measures to address the causes of migration including preservation of peace and ending armed conflicts, respect for human rights, the creation of democratic societies and adequate social conditions, and liberal trade policies which could improve economic conditions. It was recognised that this would require co-ordinator in the fields of foreign policy, economic co-operation, immigration and asylum policy7. This approach was reinforced in subsequent years by influxes of people fleeing the wars in former Yugoslavia.

Although the hard work of resolving Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo conflicts was motivated by a range of considerations, diminishing the flow of migrants and asylum seekers to EU countries was the most important one. Putting into practise actual EU' policy, brings into the limelight number of problems practitioners suffer from. Those effectively disable possible reforms. It has become then obvious, that implementing certain measures directly to rootcases is a difficult task. The call for comprehensive approach came from EU officials as well as from 'responsible' ministries of the member states (handling migration and internal issues).

Simultaneously, those responsible for external, humanitarian, development and assistance affairs as well as EC General Directories, showed total lack of interest for putting policies into practise. This was partly because policy objectives and priorities in these arenas differ from those of home ministers. What more, already in early 1990's European Commission has included a so-called human rights clause into most of bilateral trade and cooperation agreements with third countries, but these did not have the prevention of migration or asylum seeker flows as an objective.

Excluded was a so-called "Barcelona Process", set up in 1995 Europe – Mediterranean partnership scheme. Its objective was to improve the living standards and protection of human rights in EU-bordering regions (in which limitation of migration to the EU was a key dimension). Exactly now I have come to the point where it is essential to compare two frameworks, two different approaches to question of migration in Europe. Coming back to the opening notion of this paper (migration directions being a case of different migration problems), it becomes clear that regulating migration is thus really about regulating North – South relationships.

Policy in this arena is doomed to failure unless it addresses the causes of both economic and forced migration in current patterns of global inequality. Globalisation has the inherent contradiction of producing both North – South gap and the technological and cultural means of overcoming this gap. Transnational networks in all their guises will undermine migration control, as long as it is based on a national logic and separated from mainstream policies on aid, trade, development and governance.

The EU case study shows that even the most advanced supranational body has still a long way to go in overcoming this national logic. The call for actions of a state will always be involved unless we won't define the social phenomena related to migration with the security terms implying the notion of collective essential danger. There is then a real need for desecuritising the migration discourse. Some analysts are increasingly beginning to argue that illegal migration is not merely a security problem8.

Instead, the problem could be viewed either, or both as: 1) Socioeconomic problem, i. e. cause of the problems are both poverty and societal inequalities, and / or 2) Political in origins, i. e. dissatisfaction with current regimes by groups within the state that seek alternative forms of government. There is therefore a case to be made for changing the current discourse on migration from based mostly on national security and the state, to a discourse based on the problems of disadvantaged / dissatisfied societal groups and sub-groups within a state.

This is a notion for developing a fully multicultural environment. Indeed, the late modern society is living with risks. Many of the risks cannot be controlled, because the current (Western) way of life constitutes huge network of risk. Environmental risks are the most clear-cut examples: the nuclear power plant is a huge risk of tits capacity to destroy human lives, but giving up the nuclear power could produce some other risks, such as energy crisis. Thus the total security is not an option; with the total security, society becomes fully paralysed9.

One of those countries that have already chosen the path of multicultural society is Finland. According to official policy documents, in contemporary political setting, multiculturality cannot be escaped, firstly, because migrants are here (in the Western societies) to stay and, secondly the 'globalisation' – meaning in this context something like increased transnational interaction and interdependence – is seen providing more opportunities than dangers. The government report on Finnish Security and Defence Policy 200110 says:

The effects of globalization are mainly positive, but there are also problems. Globalization provides a chance to strengthen overall security, and as the interdependence of nations, economies and societies increases, it becomes easier to jointly resolve security problems. Multiculturality is, therefore, a risk not a danger. The same goes for migration: the globalisation is a good thing, the official Finnish policy document insists, but there are risks in it – migration being one example.

The distinction between risk and danger11 is important one. Dangers are objective issues independent from the subject threatened by them. They are often conceived as external to the subject. Risks, in contrast, are issues that at least partially are products of actor's doing and choices. Thus they are not external to subjects, but internal. * * * From the basis of danger / risk distinction it can be reasoned that the moral necessity to dismantle the dangers, whereas risks have to be managed and lived with.

Then my answer to paper's opening question, whether migration can be perceived as a security problem and whether it is desirable, consists of two points: 1) Migration is handled as a state security issue, sometimes in terms of a danger (Russia), sometimes in terms of a risk (Finland) 2) It is desirable to discuss migration rather as an internal policy issue, than as a question of external security. I personally believe that only possible solution for a long – term coexistence between native and immigrant citizens of Europe is a multicultural European society.


Abbot, Jason and Neil Renwick, Pirates? Martime Piracy and Societal Security in Southeast Asia, Pacifica Review, Vol. 11, No. 1, Feb. 1999, pp. 7 – 24 Beck, Ulrich (1992): Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. London: Sage. Buzan, B. , O Waever, J deWilde Security: A New Framework for Analysis Boulder, Colorado 1998: 25. Castles, Stephen The Factors that Make and Unmake Migration Policies, Paper for the Conference on Conceptual and Methodological Developments in the Study of International Migration, Princeton University 23-24 May 2003, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford