• Daniela Silvestre Jorge Ayoub
4. term, Global Refugee Studies, Master (Master Programme)
The exploration of the relationship between securitization and law is a privileged area of inquiry as it surfaces ontological questions on the relationships between states and citizens; policy and institution building; social control and the power of law, among others. The construction of threathood, an integral component to securitization, leans on its association with national values and identity, the perception of a specific issue and the entity which originates the threat (Ibek, 2015). Securitization is operationalized through the use of regulatory and administrative legal apparatus in efforts to exercise social control through penological tools (Miller, 2005: 123).

To examine the issue, I identified the following question as my primary research question: How and to what extent does plea bargaining, in the context of a history of securitization, become a vehicle for disenfranchising minorities? To aid in answering this question, I applied the analysis to the case of the United States as it offers a particularly interesting case of fast-tracked convictions within a history of securitization, given its global reputation as a pioneer in the en-masse use of plea bargaining.

The findings of this thesis attribute the construction, operationalization and impersonation of threathood to the theory of securitization and its relationship to law. Through a historical perspective, I demonstrate tactics utilized to influence the production of law in efforts to both control specific groups and to preemptively justify the use of invasive strategies. In addition, I illustrate the use of the plea bargaining system as a mechanism to operationalize securitization, making the process of arrest, detainment and conviction appear legitimate and rational. In actuality, I argue that the law is utilized to produce states of exception to permanently redefine the way in which the institution of criminal justice operates. In evaluating the disenfranchisement of minorities, I demonstrate the effects of conviction and imprisonment through the adoption of Foucault’s ‘carceral archipelago’ to describe extended punitive consequences outside the penal system and into public and private institutions.
Publication date15 Aug 2018
Number of pages67
ID: 284861352