Lehtonen, Pinja, & Pami Aalto (2017). Smart and secure borders through automated border control systems in the EU? The views of political stakeholders in the Member States. European Security, 26(2), 207-225. (doi: 10.1080/09662839.2016.1276057) (Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/09662839.2016.1276057)

Abstract: The European Commission launched the “Smart Borders” policy process in 2011 to enhance border security in the European Union (EU) using technologisation and harmonisation. This includes the use of automated border control (ABC) systems. The Member States crucially shape the process, weighing security technologies and costs, privacy and rights, and further institutional choices. We examine the views of political stakeholders in four Member States by conducting a systematic empirical and comparative study unprecedented in the existing, political-theory-inspired research. In our Q methodological experiments, political stakeholders in Finland, Romania, Spain and the UK rank-ordered a sample of statements on Smart Borders, ABC and harmonisation. The factor analysis of the results yielded three main views: the first criticising ABC as a security technology, the second welcoming the security gains of automation and the third opposing harmonised border control. While impeding harmonisation, the results offer a consensus facilitating common policy.

Pinja Lehtonen <pinja.lehtonen@tuni.fi> is on the Faculty of Management and Business, City Centre Campus, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Tampere, Finland.

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