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RISK AND THE SECURITISATION OF STUDENT MIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES

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ABSTRACT

This paper examines the construction of international students as objects of security in the United States during the period surrounding 11 September, 2001. Competing perceptions of international student migration as threatening or beneficial contributed to policy discourses that sought to mitigate the risk inherent in migration. The events of 9/11 prompted new evaluations of migration risk, and in particular, foreign students were securitised – that is, incorporated into policy dialogues as national security threats requiring immediate and strict controls. We examine the securitisation of international students through the evolutionary processes of risk perception and risk management, which are articulated in the construction and contesting of geopolitical storylines.

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