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ECPR Summer School in Methods & Techniques 2020

Between Two Policy Frames: Protection vs Descecuritisation

Jennifer Jackson-Preece
The London School of Economics & Political Science
Jennifer Jackson-Preece
The London School of Economics & Political Science

This paper will argue that the existing European minority rights regime is characterized by two competing policy frames: protection vs desecuritization. In the protectionist framing, minorities are constructed as the objects of a process intended to ‘protect’ the status quo with a view to preventing conflict. The protectionist frame is the preferred policy response for minority / majority relations not only today but also in earlier historical periods. Desecuritization is an alternative policy framing that prioritizes the reconstruction of public narratives of membership and belonging. From this perspective, the public policy process is not understood in terms of ‘subjects’ and ‘objects’ but as fundamentally’ intersubjective’. Undoubtedly, ‘protection’ has been a source of stability in the post-Cold War period. But in prioritizing stability over transformation, ‘protection’ has also entrenched ‘minority’ / ‘majority’ power dynamics within European public discourse. In the long-term, such inequalities of power may themselves become sources of instability and conflict.
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