Securing Borders, Securing Power

Wednesday 4 October 2023, 1:00pm to 2:00pm


Lancaster University Management School - Room B108, Lancaster, LA1 4YX - View Map

Open to

All Lancaster University (non-partner) students


Registration not required - just turn up

Event Details

Security Lancaster Seminar with Dr Mike Slaven

Teams Link: Join Seminar (We’d appreciate if you could optionally register to join our mailing list)

Dr Mike Slaven - Univ. of Lincoln

Securing Borders, Securing Power

Abstract: In his new book Securing Borders, Securing Power, Mike Slaven examines a key moment in the development of US immigration politics to identify what security scholars can learn from understanding the political games surrounding security, and how the ways that security meanings reshape competition over political issues can push politics in more extreme directions. In 2010, the US state of Arizona enacted Senate Bill 1070, its notorious “show-me-your-papers” law. At the time, it was widely portrayed as a draconian outlier; today, it is clear that events in Arizona foreshadowed the rise of Donald Trump and underscored the worldwide trend toward the securitization of migration—treating immigrants as a security threat. Offering a comprehensive account of the SB 1070 era in Arizona and its fallout, this book provides new perspective on why policy makers adopt hard-line views on immigration and how this trend can be turned back.

Tracing how the issue of unauthorized migration consumed Arizona state politics from 2003 to 2010, Slaven analyzes how previously extreme arguments can gain momentum among politicians across the political spectrum. He presents an insider account based on illuminating interviews with political actors as well as historical research, weaving a compelling narrative of power struggles and political battles. Slaven details how politicians strategize about border politics in the context of competitive partisan conflicts and how securitization spreads across parties and factions. He examines right-wing figures who pushed an increasingly extreme agenda; the lukewarm center-right, which faced escalating far-right pressure; and the nervous center-left, which feared losing the center to border-security appeals—and he explains why the escalation of securitization broke down, yielding new political configurations. A comprehensive chronicle of a key episode in recent American history, this book also draws out lessons that Arizona’s experience holds for immigration politics across the world.

Bio: Mike Slaven is senior lecturer in international politics at the University of Lincoln. He was previously a speechwriter for the U.S. secretary of homeland security and the governor of Arizona.

Contact Details

Name Mark Bellwood

Directions to Lancaster University Management School - Room B108

Please see map