Uninhibited violence: Race and the securitization of immigration

David Moffette, Shaira Vadasaria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bringing a critical race analysis to existing literature on securitization, this article addresses a lacuna in securitization theory and offers a conceptual framework to account for the entanglements between the securitization of immigration and racial violence. First, we consider the limits of the concept of securitization to account for the normality of racial violence, and argue that responses to events deemed to be ‘crises’ need to be analyzed in relation to the juridico-political orderings of power formed under colonial modernity, of which race is a central organizing principle. Second, we discuss the framework of racial governmentality and suggest that securitization enables expressions of racial desires already constitutive of colonial modernity. Thus re-embedded in liberalism’s racial story, these processes of securitization are analyzed not as operating an exceptional rupture with normal liberal politics, but as enabling a lift on the prohibition of liberal intolerance that produces what we call uninhibited violence. Third, we present a brief empirical vignette of a case of securitization of immigration in Canada to illustrate our argument.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-305
Number of pages15
JournalCritical Studies on Security
Issue number3
Early online date24 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • migrants
  • race
  • governmentality
  • securitization
  • tolerance
  • violence


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