Centre for International and Defence Policy

Centre for International and Defence Policy
Centre for International and Defence Policy

Should Security (Ever) Trump Rights?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017  Time: 12-1:00 pm
Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 554 

Audie Klotz


Audie Klotz

Professor, Political Science
Syracuse University



Are the Trump administration’s attempts to restrict entry into the US a response to legitimate security concerns or an abrogation of basic legal protections for individuals and families? To what extent is Brexit driven by concern of Eastern European migrants or Syrian refugees? Do EU designations of “safe” countries or deals with Turkey and Libya to preclude migration around the Mediterranean undermine the non-refoulement norm? Should anti-foreigner sentiment in South Africa be labelled xenophobia, a term typically associated with racism? We can better understand these rising tensions between migration as a potential security concern and a sphere for rights protections through the politics of threat construction. Three dimensions of security--interstate, societal, and human—provide distinct perspectives. Examples from around the world underscore that the inclusion of migration within security studies also requires a reassessment of the field’s Eurocentric roots.


Audie Klotz is a Professor of Political Science in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Her interests span theories of international relations, qualitative methods, transnational activism, global migration, and identity politics, with a regional specialization in Southern Africa and more broadly the former British Empire. Her work has appeared in International Organization, Review of International Studies, Third World Quarterly, and European Journal of International Relations, among other journals and edited collections. Her first book, Norms in International Relations: The Struggle against Apartheid (1995), won the Furniss award in security studies. Her latest book, Migration and National Identity in South Africa, 1860-2010 (2013) compares South Africa to Australia and Canada. Her work has been recognized by two International Studies Associations awards: in 2014 she was awarded the Tickner Award for innovative scholarship and in 20118 she will be receive an ISA Distinguished Scholar Award.