Chapter 14 From rights to risk: labour migration and the securitization of justice
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During the global COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions on mobility stranded millions of migrant workers outside their countries of origin without work or income. This article uses this crisis as a point of departure for considering migrant precarity as an indication of broader transformations in the global governance of financial capitalism. We argue that the classical antinomy between the security of individual and state has been encompassed by the financial logic of ‘securitization’, which guarantees the liquidity of assets in volatile markets. Measuring expectations for the future rather than analysing the lessons from the past, information technologies allow economic and political actors to continually adjust their positions within an uncertain landscape by assessing the potential impact of their decisions. In recent years, these risk management techniques have displaced the aspirational agenda of human rights with policy interventions that are performative, instantiating themselves as a source of security that generates its own threat. The 2018 Global Compact of Migration demonstrates this logical shift from rights to risk, or what we call ‘the securitization of justice’.

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