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Rethinking Security: Perspectives from Arab–American and British Arab Activists

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In this article, we analyse the experience of securitization from the perspective of Arab–American and British Arab activists. Based on interviews with over 100 activists in both countries, we explore the ways in which Arab immigrant communities have experienced the enhanced security measures taken by governments. Our respondents describe the ways in which these measures have increased feelings of fear and insecurity within their communities. They emphasized how immigration, border and surveillance technologies lent a pervasive sense of insecurity to daily life. At the same time, they argued for the importance of the legal rights of citizenship in anchoring a sense of security in and belonging to British and American society.

Keywords: Arab immigrants; border controls; security; social cohesion

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Geography, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK;, Email: 2: Department of Geography, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA;, Email:

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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