The securitization of Somali refugees in Kenya: The plan to close Dadaab refugee camp
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This thesis examines how the Government of Kenya is securitizing Somali refugees in order to promote and legitimize the plans to close Dadaab refugee camp. On 6 May 2016 the Government of Kenya decided that it would stop hosting refugees because of threats to the country’s national security. Shortly after this announcement the focus of the government shifted to closing only Dadaab refugee camp, therefore targeting only Somali refugees. By using the framework of securitization, this thesis analyzes the plan to close Dadaab refugee camp. This thesis applies a multi-level analysis including acts, context and agents, presenting a complete picture of the empirical complication. I argue that the Government of Kenya is specifically securitizing Somali refugees. The government has constructed a discourse of security in which these refugees are portrayed as a security threat. Since Somali refugee are securitized in an opportunistic way, they are an easy scapegoat for the Government of Kenya to blame a variety of problems on. Moreover, I illustrate that the Copenhagen school speech act approach to securitization is too narrow, and that contextual factors and acts have contributed to the construction of the security discourse in Kenya. By using various concepts from the literature on securitization, I reflect on the role of the audience in securitization processes and argue that the acceptance of the audience is not necessarily important for the success of the securitization effort.