New book! Lucrecia Rubio Grundell (2023): Security Meets Gender Equality in the EU: The Politics of Trafficking in Women for Sexual Exploitation. Palgrave Macmillan

New publication of the group! Lucrecia Rubio Grundell (2023): Security Meets Gender Equality in the EU: The Politics of Trafficking in Women for Sexual Exploitation. Palgrave Macmillan, 262 pp. DOI:

This book explores the triangular dynamics of securitisation and desecuritisation that underpin the EU’s approach to trafficking in women for sexual exploitation. That is, the progressive securitisation of trafficking in women for sexual exploitation within the EU’s anti-trafficking policies and the existence of two distinct and competing approaches that coexist among feminist struggles against such trend and that largely follow the two opposing views that structure feminist debates on prostitution: a neo-abolitionist approach, on the one hand, that is increasingly defended from within EU institutions, and has therefore become increasingly entangled with the securitisation of trafficking in women; and a sex work approach, on the other hand, that has been largely relegated to the domains of academia and civil society. As such, this book addresses the intersection of security and feminist neo-abolitionism within the EU’s anti-trafficking policies, as well as the de-securitising potential of the anti-trafficking advocacy of both neo-abolitionist and sex worker organisations operating at EU level. This book is unique in that it unprecedentedly brings together three bodies of literature that rarely interact: Critical Security Studies, EU Gender Studies and the feminist literature on prostitution and trafficking in women and demonstrates their fruitful interaction in an extensive empirical analysis of the EU’s internal security, violence against women and anti-trafficking policies.

Praise for Security Meets Gender Equality in the EU:

“In this enthralling book, Lucrecia Rubio Grundell provides a much-needed, comprehensive analysis of how trafficking in women for sexual exploitation has come to be securitized by the European Union. Grounded in expert discourse analysis of myriad EU documents and interviews with key actors, she carefully and convincingly traces the evolution and intersection of EU security policy, gender equality policy and approaches to trafficking for sexual exploitation. As such the book fills a noticeable gap in understanding the politics of neo-abolitionism and securitization at European level. Importantly this book ends with a turn to the possibilities of desecuritising the issue, finding inspiration in the transgressive and joyful actions sex workers undertake at a distance from the state.”

Gillian Wylie, Assistant Professor in International Peace Studies, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

“This compelling book addresses the politics of security and trafficking in women in the EU through a critical, well-documented, and comprehensive analysis that skilfully questions the EU’s security and gender equality policies. By unravelling complex dynamics of securitization and feminist politics, the book convincingly argues that trafficking in women for sexual exploitation is securitized at EU level by presenting organised crime, irregular immigration and sex work as threats to the internal security of the EU, and that this securitization has significant consequences for migrant women. A must read for scholars of EU studies, security, and gender and sexuality politics!”

Emanuela Lombardo, Associate Professor in Political Science, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.