Beyond the exceptional
Tracing the repercussions of a security speech act
Since the 1980s, debates on security have expanded and security has become a catchphrase in virtually every area of life. In Finland, the government elected in 2003 began its four-year period in power by launching a special Internal Security Programme (ISP) that stressed the threat of social exclusion. Altogether four ISPs have been launched in Finland since 2004. They all repeat the menace of social exclusion. In this article, we examine how these speech acts materialised on the level of legislation. Our study suggests that in Finland, the securitization of exclusion was only accepted in the media. Overall it ‘failed’, as on the level of law, internal security and exclusion were not, in the main, connected when security measures were justified. On the other hand, we contend that by introducing more monitoring and less privacy – especially among youth – the legislation effectively opened novel avenues for ‘security nothings’.
- 2.Constructing security as exception and routine in theory and practice
- 2.1The theory of securitization
- 2.2Social exclusion in Finland and in the contents of the ISPs
- 3.Data and methods
- 4.Analysis: Stressing crime and dodging exclusion
- 4.1Two groups of bills
- 4.2Increasing police powers and rewriting the penal code
- 4.3Reforming administration and expanding co-operation
- 5.Results: The absence of social exclusion in legislation referring to internal security
- 6.Conclusion: Identifying ‘security nothings’ beyond the exception
Published online: 21 July 2020
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