Securitisation (de-securitisation) of migration on the example of Ukrainian migration to Poland and internal migration in Ukraine


Traditional research approaches are losing their explanatory potential for the research of migratory movements in Eastern Europe, following the onset of the ‘proxy’ conflict in Eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014. Alongside this, the mass migration from Ukraine to Poland occurred, which is typically defined and studied in terms of labour migration. Our aim is to study in a ‘securitisation’ prism the way the armed conflict and the destabilisation of security conditions in Ukraine have influenced the actual perception and reaction towards the migrants coming from the conflict areas to the two states: Poland being the biggest destination country for Ukrainians’ migrants and Ukraine, a country of origin and at the same time country hosting the great volume of internal forced migrations.

The study will answer three main research questions:

1) Whether and why the Ukrainian migration has not become a subject of securitisation in Poland after 2014?;

2) Whether and why the internal displacement phenomenon has been securitised inside Ukraine?;

3) How do international and internal migrants perceive/negotiate the securitisation (desecuritisation) policies and do they play any role in preservation/altering of the securitisation’ dynamics?

The study is rooted in critical security studies theories and methods, and the project is expected to test whether depending on the contextual factors, securitising agent and connections to other sectors, a ‘traditional’ security issue such as armed conflict produced international migration may be successfully ‘de-securitised’ if it is accompanied by strong ‘securitisation’ of other migration-related objects (the‘European refugee crisis’) and placed in the labour migration realm. On the other hand, internal displacement tends to be easily securitised in the circumstances of the ‘hybrid war’, if it is positioned within the ‘national’ identity polarisation discourse.


2019 - 2021

Source of funding

Project “Securitisation (de-securitisation) of migration on the example of Ukrainian migration to Poland and internal migration in Ukraine” has been funded by the National Science Centre under “OPUS 16” financing scheme (nr UMO-2018/31/B/HS5/01607)