21st Century Migration: Opportunity, Calamity or Weapon of War? A Critical Discourse Analysis

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Abstract


Migration flows from the Global South is one of most pertinent sociopolitical issues influencing 21st century geopolitics with wider connotations to social, cultural and political developments in modern world. Issues originating from mass migration, were not predicted and dealt with time, hence significant and constant political and scientific efforts are being invested to regulate and outline a sustainable migration model which will include all political, sociocultural and economic parameters. Main research objective takes a comparative prospective between migration issues in the EU and Russian Federation with accent on illegal migration. Main questions are if liberal EU policy towards migration is causing a rise of radicalism among indigenous (native EU) population, moreover if the core European/Christian values are under pressure and as well if there is a decline in EU living standard. This article is determining key factors and analyzing possible political impacts of migration, particularly illegal migration towards the European Union keeping in prospective recent events of the European Migration Crisis 2015. Analysis in this article lies in the realist school of thought in international politics and it uses empirical approach and comparative methods of Comparative politics in political science.

Introduction Technological development, globalization, economic interdependence and sociopolitical interweaving made political and economic processes in the world hastened as never before seen in modern history. Progress and rapid breakthrough in technology as well as exigency for fast, secure and mobile trade, made the world smaller than ever before. In cultural, sociological and political spheres this brought issues which were not able to be dealt in time by academia and policy makers. Different religions, nations, races, ethnicities, cultures and mores are closer than ever © Beck M., 2019 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ before. These processes have great positive possibilities, some of which can be seen by the present generation enjoying possibilities and commodities at the paste and quantities not imaginable just a generation earlier. Alongside positive trends, above mentioned processes have their negative sides. Absence of job security [20], economic insouciance enjoyed by the previous generations in post-World War II Europe’s economic model and migration are some of the most prominent issues. After the crisis of Fordism [9], migration became more of a problem instead of opportunity for hosting countries. European Union (EU) started as a peacekeeping idea in post WWII Europe linking previous enemies economically, which was the closest common point, preventing future wars and hostilities, building economic foundation for future sociopolitical processes in Europe. This model, fueled by US financial incentives, in post WWII Europe’s economic ascent, had the sociocultural capacity to absorb waves of economically driven migrant workers from European south towards economically boosting European north. Despite cultural differences between European north and south, migrant workers successfully blended in prosperous countries of the EEC/EU, moreover boosted its economic development. Even within modern Europe, the relatively modest cultural differences between Germans and Greeks has stretched limited institutional harmonization achieved by the EU to the breaking point. Culture is what separates diasporas from the indigenous and some cultures are more distant from the culture of the indigenous population than others. The more distant the culture, the slower will be the rate of absorption of its diaspora, moreover the slower will be the sustainable rate of migration [2]. Economic interdependence inspired further political cooperation which lead to what we have today, European Union a “sui generis” entity, an economic colossus with significant internal divisions on issues such as common foreign policy, defense policy, migration etc. Migration from outside EU is a major stumbling block among member states, moreover the whole European project came to the crossroads, hence some member states want more cohesion, while others stream towards more independence. Among economic, social and cultural dimension, international migration is a part of both national and global security challenges [5]. In attempt to reconcile cultural and social differences, evoking Fascist/ Nazi past of some member states which is used for daily politics, human, minority, sexual, animal and other “rights”, alongside “universal” utopia which is driven by some left-wing, liberal political circles are weakening the EU from inside in a new unpredictable and unstable world. Political and security encirclement of the EU, where Muammar Gaddafi used migration as a weapon against the EU [9], numerous wars, instabilities and unrest which is spreading around southern and southeastern geopolitical frontier of Europe, protection of its own citizen, institutional system and national security issues need to be addressed in broader perspective. Migration affects established liberal democracies, in which the legacy of the racist policies of Nazism had increasingly served as a “negative matrix” for post-World War II policy making on immigration and asylum [14]. Internal European migration processes of second half of the 20th century which had more positive trends then negative, are not to be mistaken with 21st century global migration processes which are causing distress, economic strain and fuel for extremism and radicalism both in departure countries as well as the high-income countries which are desired end destinations for millions of migrants. Implementation of EU migration policy, without a clear and comprehensive long-term solution for migration problem, initiatives such as Mare Nostrum and Frontex-led operation Triton with main agenda of “saving lives before securing the borders” [9] deepens the cleavage among EU member states, increases strain on cultural cohesion, welfare systems, national security and it also can be a way of financing terrorism and organized crime [5]. The remain of this paper will give insight of international migration crisis, its objects, analyze its factors with comparative approach, and in the final section of the paper, discuss the political implications of my findings. Data collection and interpretation Data doesn’t speak for itself, instead it must be interpreted. Data is collected by specific people or machines-for specific purpose [19]. People have their bias and machines have limitations on interpretation of collected data. As definition clearly states, statistics is a presentation of analyzed numbers [11] (a sample) which can be reinterpret in more than one way and it result can be misinterpreted and different than the facts in real life. EUROSTAT counts asylum applications but not arrivals themselves, with the potential for undercounting. In the absence of other statistical sources of information for all EU-countries, it would be useful to note this limitation [16]. Analyzing and comparing differences in migration patterns of previous decades with ones of today, three factors emerge: declining economy in high income countries, extreme libertarianism [2] in the EU15 members (forced cultural diversity/multiculturalism, apologetical discourse towards main European cultural factor, Christianity, absence of true free, democratic discussions) and last but not least, 21st century global challenges in a new multipolar world. Declining economy The Anglo-Saxon capitalist model, which emerged in the 1970’s on the Chicago School of Economics, promoting radical Laissez-faire economic system, spilled over with lesser extent onto German and Nordic economic models, which resulted in significant decline of middle class in high income countries. Despite constant strain of Brussels bureaucrats to promote European harmony, vast number of middle-class population is struggling to make ends meet in most prosperous countries of the EU such as Germany, France, Italy, UK et al. In addition to that, there is substantial empirical evidence that income growth in developed economies has stagnated over the past few decades [4]. Millennials, among others, in host nations are deprived of benefits savored by their parents a generation earlier, with less education opportunities, never more competitive job market and blurry vision of never weaker and long-term unsustainable pension systems. Perception of immigration as a threat and a sense of insecurity among citizens create a stronger demand for EU initiatives [3]. However, political incentives in the EU are not sufficient to substitute the lack of economic opportunities, namely, universal education right is contested with high education costs and the inability of most families in providing the financial support for their children to access the higher education system. Also, we can point out four politically unpleasant sub factors. First, significant reduction in number of immigrants from any given country should be viewed as an important element in the security of a country. Second, the case of asylum migration became notoriously known thanks to mass media that monitored the influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants from war-torn Syria seeking refuge in EU countries, most frequently Germany. The “way of Syrian asylum seekers” became a part of the pop culture and is referred to very often. Third, many people tend to think that asylum seekers mean a financial and security burden for the target (or host) country. Four, D’ Albis et al. (2018) assess the fiscal and economic effects of inflows of asylum seekers into Western Europe with the information in 1985 to 2015 and estimating the macroeconomic consequences of structural shocks and policies. They discovered that inflows of asylum seekers did not deteriorate host nations’ financial performance or fiscal balance because of the increase in spending brought on by asylum seekers is paid for by a rise in tax revenues [5]. Supplementing the previous thesis, such young persons are also deprived from the possibility of providing a respectable living standard doing manual jobs after conducting vocational education, due to the decline in wages. Due to above mentioned economic factors there are generations in the EU which will not be able to maintain the living standard achieved by their parents, not be able to secure pensions which would provide a dignified third life span. Such individuals are less likely to start families, plan offspring and are more vulnerable to radical ideologies and manipulations. Influx of culturally diverse migrants which have for consequence straining even further countries welfare systems and reducing hourly wages for most basic jobs cannot be greed with complacency. In accordance to OECD data [17] poverty gap in Italy (0.408 Ratio 2016), Spain (0.391 Ratio 2016) and Slovak Republic (0.403 Ratio 2016) is higher than for instance the one of Mexico (0.334 Ratio 2014) and Turkey (0.282 Ratio 2015). Under such conditions humanitarian impulse to care for children and migrants, in liberal democracies can easily be transformed into fear and hate. Journeys to the EU entail crossing several countries and migrants’ final destinations are not always fixed at the beginning of their trips, but rather decided along the way. Thus, social media and the Internet have played central roles in aiding migrants’ journeys and decision-making prior to migration through sharing of immigration about smugglers and routes of the trip [16]. In parallel, burgeoning economic areas such as Persian Gulf states, China and India, should see that the private sector as well as the governments of these countries take their share of a global issue, move beyond short-term profit focus and put more emphasis on environmental and social issues in business models to achieve sustainable results [5]. Extreme libertarianism A state forms human association distinguished from other social groups by its purpose in the establishment of order and security. Order and security have been enforced by laws, and laws need to have an obligatory sanction, hence each independent country should be able to enforce sanctions in violation of laws prescribed on its territory. Each country which cannot enforce its laws on its own territory is debatable as an independent country. Moreover, protection of its citizens, lives, property, as well as the judicial and political systems, cultural and social achievements is a responsibility of functional country. Political, social and security chaos erupted with 2015 illegal migration crisis which caused a total Breakdown of European migration and border regime [9] created significant cracks in the EU. Hundreds of thousands, culturally farraginous illegal migrants without basic understanding of European culture and mores, swarm the EU countries, deteriorating security of indigenous populations, undermining national security systems and straining welfare systems of recipient countries. In 2015, more than one million people arrived in Europe after crossing the Mediterranean Sea, a huge increase from 250 000 in 2014 and 60 000 in 2013. Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos declared “the world find itself facing the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War and Europe finds itself struggling to deal with the high influxes of people seeking refuge within our borders. According to Eurobarometer data, since 2015, immigration has been the most important issue between crime and terrorism among EU citizens [3]. In absence of free democratic discussions, in fear of being labelled as xenophobic, without clear vision of the future, with main stream media and politicians being preoccupied with trivial issues, security forces not being able to defend its own nationals and provide law and order for “universal” reasons of human rights, such developments can evolve in a real peril of future radicalism across Europe. Those “universal” reasons cannot be applied in a world where some countries try to use migration as weapon against the EU [9]. Modern, globalized processes fuel hostility towards traditional view of life, family, religion, even education become an object of depreciation in main stream media. Legitimate movement for human (sexual, cultural, etc.) liberties from the second half of the 20th century became a radical movements of minorities which are enforcing its will to majority. In absence of free dialogue, in trepidation of being labeled xenophobic (homophobic, Islamophobic, etc.) deprived young generations of developed European countries could enhance radical ideology which could be disastrous for a continent which went through two world wars in previous century. It’s been forgotten that functional social models are decisive, but they do not just happen, they are built as a result of decades, and sometimes centuries, of social progress [2]. Europe as a whole has been a hostage of some country’s colonial past, equally, Germany as the leading European economy has been hostage of its Nazi past. Further following issues are quite numerous, for example, Dutch new Interior Minister proclaimed that he wanted to get rid of the most of the country’s controversial immigration policies. The Interior Minister wants to re-centralize de- cision making on naturalization in order to keep one policy used for all immigrants. Nevertheless, in 2013, former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has spoken out against what he believed was an excess of immigrants in France and the financial difficulties and lack of federal cohesion in the country it caused in his opinion. These political steps are against the accepted beliefs that migration brings in young talents, reduces the cost of labour and generally helps the economic growth and development. However, the political side in the EU often outweighs the economic (and rational) one. Unfortunately, migration is one of these cases. When will European responsibility for third world countries end? With declining living standard, job opportunities, salaries and work conditions, increase of homelessness, European countries have many fields where they can invest budgetary surpluses if they exist at all. Few very important issues arise in modern migration process. Is Europe responsible for thousands of economic migrants from countries such as Pakistan? Pakistan is a nuclear power with huge defense budget which is disproportionate compared to its spending on education and health [18], hence it is a regional and middle power. Should an average European student, pensioner, worker pay for Pakistani’s Government misuse of public funds, lack of quality public policies, social and economic development programs, corruption, etc.!? The same issues arise in regards of African countries [6, 13], with some of them disposing vast hydrocarbon and mineral resources. Economically weaker countries, with lesser social development have absence of any natality policy. Moreover, social development in some of those countries with vast emigration towards Europe is quite low, some of which still base their existence on tribalism. True face of such enforced multiculturalism can be seen in cities across western Europe with deteriorating security and increase of criminality. However, as the number of migrants increases, several EU countries began to address certain groups of immigrants as undesirable and in some cases, threats to social welfare and state security. This is an adverse effect of migration when favourable economic opportunities might be eroded and flowed to specific places because of specific economic conditions. International migration comes through as a significant factor for any given country’s security and therefore special care and attention as well as targeted economic, social and welfare policies should be attributed for treating it as such [5]. Not to mention the fact of total fiasco in attempt for assimilation of migrants from totally different cultural, social and religious background. Migration is a private act, usually decided primary by the migrant, perhaps with input from the family [2]. Interesting fact is that totally poor can’t even afford to migrate. Moreover, numerous NGO’s and human rights groups assert growing islamophobia in some EU countries, but thousands of illegal migrants still choose Christian EU countries instead of wealthy Islamic countries of the Arab world. In comparison, Russian Federation has less problems with illegal migration due to the efficient law enforcement and protection of its citizens. On the contrary, in the EU law enforcement is frequently under scrutiny of human rights groups which are advocating nonselective law enforcement when it comes to illegal migrants [1] putting the rights of illegal economic migrants and possible terror suspects in front of indigenous population. For climate change we not only have the right concepts, we are increasingly measuring them. For migration policy we have neither. Migration: 21st century global challenge World today is changing at the paste never seen before in modern history. This paste sprouts problems which can’t be addressed on time and in a proper manner. Migration is one of such issues. Towards the end of the first decade of 21st century, European migration policy was characterized by four elements: Common European Asylum System (CEAS), a hardened, semi-Europeanized and hightech external border, externalisation, that is, cooperative with Countries of Transit and Origin and tentative attempts at organizing legal migration on a European level [9]. Leftist prospective, which disregards state security, economic and social issues is being manifested through the duty to “save lives” as well as obligations stemming from international law such as the Geneva Convention to guarantee adequate refugee protection. Scientist must focus on growing importance of migration as key figures for the protection of culture and society in the present, not only by understanding the trends and changes, the consequences and differences in behavior and experience of migration in the past. Europe is in the midst of a very difficult economic and political situation at the moment. Moreover, it is in the middle of the largest refugee crisis since World War II. Therefore, EU will need to consolidate its approaches to migration and to steady its migration policies in order to deal with the growing number of migrants from other, third countries. Racial and cultural composition of contemporary societies have dramatically changed in the last couple of decades since (and thanks) a result of migration. It is very important to utilize present research structures and tools to encourage the evolution of a research agenda on migration and welfare [5]. On the contrary, there are some factors showing mischievousness of such approach. The evidence is that for most small, poor countries, even the current rate of emigration is probably beyond the peak. Migrants increase social diversity. Social diversity, in some cases undermines mutual regard and its invaluable benefits of cooperation and generosity. The corrosive effects of diversity are accentuated if migrants are from countries with dysfunctional social models to which they remain attached. In absence of controls, migration and the diaspora will expand without limit. Interesting fact is that the neediest people in the world are not migrants from poor countries. Migrants are usually drawn from better-off in their countries because the poorest cannot afford the cost of migration. The neediest are the people who are left behind. Using an economic paradigm of modern international economics, “the impossible trinity” which says that a government that permits the free movement of capital and sets its own monetary policy cannot also set the exchange rate. There may, perhaps, be and equivalent impossible trinity arising from the free movement of people. It may prove unsustainable to combine rapid migration with multicultural policies that keep absorption rates low and welfare systems that are generous, not to mention the security aspect. Track re- cord of culturally diverse societies is not so encouraging and by stating such strives, governments crack down hard on racism and discrimination on the part of the indigenous population [2]. Overpopulation, economic underdevelopment and globalization amalgamate countries, its population and their problems in a new globalized way. Fundamental causes of migration problem should be pointed out, analyzed and dealt with through a democratic discussion and inclusive way without possibility of slander and detraction. EU is trying to deal with the migration problem, however it’s complicated institutional framework, slow decision-making process and extreme political correctness discourse are not up to date nor capable enough to deal with such complicated and delicate problem. Many conventions and treaties, such as 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam, Dublin System (regulation), Common European Asylum System (CEAS) etc., not only are inefficient and insufficient, but are not fair and creating more friction between EU members. Long-term sustainable migration should be based on the mutual regard, therefore indigenous population of highly developed countries should have the right of deciding of migration limits and model in each country. EU with all its internal drifts cannot be an end point for millions of African and Asian economic/illegal migrants, for reasons of deteriorating economic and social circumstances in high income countries can lead to radicalism/extremism among indigenous population but also uncontrolled migration will not solve the problem at the source. Most countries of departure have regressive social model, many of them function on a tribal principle and by migrating to developed EU countries, a dysfunctional social model of underdeveloped countries is spreading thorough EU making drifts among migrants and indigenous people. Globalization together with overpopulation resulted in an abuse of the “Refugee Institute” and modern European criminal and incarceration system cannot be effective among migrants with behindhand social habits. In according to this, EU cannot be a sanctuary for millions of people entering without restrictions when some research is suggesting [14] that countries such as India, Turkey and Iran have large portions of population opposing any migration and with the backup of political establishments. Migration in Russian Federation: comparative analysis Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia had two waves of migration patterns. First wave stared in 1991 and reached the peak in 1997, it was comprised of Russian ethnic migrants moving back to their historic motherland. Second wave started in the middle of 1990’s and is comprised of migrants from Central Asian region which moved to Russia in capacity of labor migrants for economic reasons [10]. By tightening legislation, due to security concerns, after few deadly terrorist attacks at the beginning of 2000’s a number of illegal migrants increased inside Russia. Alongside economic and social difficulties within Russian Federation in 1990’s and 2000’s, migration policy came back to its track in a successive manner. Russia is able to control its huge border and prevent illegal border crossings with better success than the EU, moreover, after the wave of few deadly terrorist attacks in the 1990’s and 2000’s, state security services manage to protect it citizens and carry out law and order with better results than some of the EU counterparts. In the 1990’s, the focus was placed on human rights. That was a period of humanitarian migration. In the mid 2000’s, economic pragmatism was put to the core, Russian labour market was essentially opened up for migrants from the CIS countries with a visa-free entry regime. Today, national security (raison d’etat) considerations are the priority [12]. Social cohesion inside a multicultural Russian Federation is based on respect for the law, respectful multiculturalism towards the indigineous population) and multireligiousness, hence respect for the main cultural outreach of nations and confessions of Russian Federation. Minority rights are guaranteed and secured by the state in a way not violating majority of population. Contrary to the EU viewpoints, strategic approach and the geopolitical situation of the country, the interest of the country and the interest of the (indigenous) people should be absolutely analyzed and included. The interest of the state and its strategic approach should at the same time be balanced against the international obligations of a country (Vagner, 2018). Despite some surveys such as from Levada Center showing xenophobic attitudes in Russian society. Over the past year aversion to migrants has increased significantly. 2/3 of the population believe that the state should reduce the migration flow [7]. This sentiment is not far from the general view spread among indigineous population in many EU countries. Alongside its counter terrorist measures, Russia is investing in development of human capital and long-term strategies such as development of the Russia’s Migration Strategy through 2035 [8] and endorsing programs for development of “Minority and Indigenous Rights” working together on projects with the Council of Europe through the Framework Convention of National Minorities (FCNM) [15]. Moreover, over the past decade Russia has increased its contribution to the development of low-income countries in its surroundings and putting a focus on supporting education and healthcare which could produce much bigger effect compared with other support instruments. Reflecting to analyzed data, Russian firmer approach to migration, peculiarly cracking down unlawful, illegal migration across its borders seems to bear much more utility than the political implementation of EU agendas and regulations which are missing steadfastness in implementation and setting the priorities in a new 21st century geopolitical paradigm. Generous welfare systems in some high-income countries of the EU which are including illegal migrants in their dispensation at the tax payers cost of host countries are not good incentive to stop the migration problem at its roots. Conclusion Any migration policy may incorporate three, sometimes contradictory objectives: economic pragmatism, national security and human rights [8]. Uncontrolled migration alongside its cultural friction will be one of the main polithological, sociological and security issues of the 21st century. Huntington’s “clash of civilization” theory (1996) predicts that within a given state, political divisions will appear along cultural lines… [14]. Immigration of hundreds of thousands culturally diverse, il- legal immigrants into EU cannot contribute to European cohesion, economic and social development. Illegal migration deteriorated security, social and economic situation inside the EU already to the point that serious cracks can be seen in the European integration process. EU as a global economic power has the main obligation to deal with its young generation which is facing dangers of becoming “lost generation” due to globalization and all its negative cycles. Then, it can originate projects to help developing countries in building positive social processes and developing democratic societies. In this process EU shall not be alone. Migration is a global problem and it should be addressed in a global manner. While addressing this extremely difficult problem, EU should focus in protecting its own borders and guarantee security to its own citizens. Good security situation inside Russian Federation, ability to secure everyday life, protect the border, implement the law and protect its own citizens can be a good example, and certainly some of those Russian security elements. Most of these elements are included in EU security agendas but they are not implemented as such. Lack of implementation lies in the extreme liberal political discourse in the EU which was ought to be a cohesive factor among diverse EU states. In shortfall of European unity, some countries even conduct restrictive measures towards its own citizens in absence of true free dialog among scientific community, policy makers and all branches of government, when facing the largest refugee/migration crisis since the World War II. Without clear goals and with promoting “universal” human values at the expense of indigenous population in 21st century volatile world can only result with more drifts alongside EU lines, deteriorating of economic, social and security circumstances and rise of radical and extremist ideologies. In comparison, Russian Federation shifted its migration policy by cracking illegal migration, focusing on national security and using policy methods and “soft power” lever to achieve a sustainable level of migration, which will benefit indigenous population and finally migrants themselves.

Marko Beck

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Email: beck.marko@gmail.com

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