The study of deportation regimes has been on the rise in recent years, partly because deportation has not been successful in achieving its declared goal. There is little evidence from countries worldwide that deportation regimes manage to remove more than a tiny fraction of the population of illegalized migrants and rejected asylum seekers. Instead, deportation regimes should be seen, first and foremost, as a state mechanism for the production of deportable Others. The production of a deportable population within nation-states serves a wide spectrum of interests: it provides the national economy with cheap and unprotected labor, it scapegoats “illegal migrants” as the new “enemy” of the state and society, it boosts the securitization industry and it beefs up the state bureaucracy by increasing surveillance, militarizing borders and executing detention and deportation.
The functioning of deportation regimes relies on the construction of a physical and legal infrastructure, on the work of committed civil servants, and on the fashioning of an ideological narrative that legitimizes its operation. At the same time, the running of state deportation regimes calls on multiple collaborations with civil society (e.g. managing so-called voluntary returns), private companies (e.g. operating detention centers), and other states (e.g. bilateral agreements). It is this meso-level of deportation regimes – the people that de facto implement them in various moments and sites – that is of interest to us. Given the disproportionality between the “crime” (not having administrative documents in order) and the sanction (becoming deportable Other), between legality and legitimacy, between abstract policies and concrete cases, we seek to interrogate the practices, views, narratives, ethical frames, and rationalizations of those who constitute the social life of deportation regimes.
We welcome papers that engage the work of different actors along the “deportation continuum” (Kalir & Wissink 2016) and that are located at different sites along the “deportation corridor” (Dortbohm & Hasselberg 2015). We are especially interested in studies that shed light on how practices at the meso-level produce implementation deficits/surpluses and shape the de facto ways in which deportation is operated as a state project and in the lives of people who work for or are subjected to it. We appreciate proposals for panels or individual papers on all aspects of deportation, including the following:
• Illegalizing migrants and rejecting asylum seekers (crimmigration, legal activism, local regulations)
• Policing deportable subjects (raids, arrests, identification, deterrence)
• Running detention centers and alternative facilities (guards, social workers, medical staff, volunteers)
• Deporting illegalized migrants (operational units, bureaucracies, diplomatic agreements)
• Facilitating so-called voluntary returns and pay-to go schemes (NGOs, municipalities, IOM)
• Managing borders (prevention of entry, hot returns, refoulment at the border, waiting zones)
• Using technologies (smart borders, biometric identifications, sharing databases)
• Caring for the deportable (volunteers, shelters, medical treatment, inclusionary initiatives)
• Mobilizing against deportations and/or detention (activists, social movements, NGOs, academics)
• Countering illegalization of Others (regularization schemes, sanctuaries, rebel cities, legal activism)
Paper abstracts, full panel abstracts and workshop outlines should be sent to Ioana Vrabiescu and Ilan Amit at: firstname.lastname@example.org by 30th of May 2018. 300 words abstracts should include affiliation of the author(s). Decisions will be communicated by 15th of June. Draft papers should be submitted by 10th of September.