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Securitisation from Below: The Relationship between immigration and foreign policy in South Africa's Approach to the Zimbabwe Crisis

Hammerstad, Anne (2012) Securitisation from Below: The Relationship between immigration and foreign policy in South Africa's Approach to the Zimbabwe Crisis. Conflict, Security and Development, 12 (1). pp. 1-30. ISSN 1467-8802. (doi:10.1080/14678802.2012.667659) (KAR id:32797)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14678802.2012.667659

Abstract

The political and economic debacle in

Zimbabwe has led to a large-scale influx of

Zimbabweans into neighbouring South

Africa. This article argues that there is a

complex and significant link between the

domestic response to this immigration influx

and South Africa’s foreign policy towards

Zimbabwe. South Africa’s foreign and

security policy elite preferred to use an

immigration approach of benign neglect as a

tool to promote its ‘quiet diplomacy’

approach towards the Zimbabwean regime,

treating the influx as a ‘non-problem’. But

increased xenophobic violence, vigilantism

and protests in townships and informal

settlements against Zimbabwean and other

African immigrants, culminating in

widespread riots across the country in

2008, contributed to a change not only in

immigration policy but also in the mediation

efforts towards the Zimbabwean parties. I

argue that this foreign policy change

was pushed by a process of ‘securitisation

from below’, where the understanding of

Zimbabwean immigrants as a security

threat were promoted not by traditional

security elites but by South Africa’s

marginalised urban poor.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/14678802.2012.667659
Projects: [UNSPECIFIED] The securitisation of forced migration
Uncontrolled keywords: Securitisation, migration, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: A. Hammerstad
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2012 17:24 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:10 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/32797 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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