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The Business of Immigration Detention: Activisms, Resistances, Critical Interventions.

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

22/01/201523/01/2015

The Centre for Mobilities Research at Lancaster University (CeMoRe) is hosting an ESRC sponsored conference “The Business of Immigration Detention: Activisms, Resistances, Critical Interventions” (which is the final event in part of a larger series of workshops titled ‘Exploring Everyday Practice and Resistance in Immigration Detention’). Bringing together a range of leading academics, post-graduate researchers, practitioners, artists, activists and former detainees this seminar series will investigate the ways in which the UK experience of detention reflects and re-produces the contradictory logics inherent in contemporary global detention practices. “The Business of Immigration Detention” will consider the challenges facing academics and activists in the area of immigration detention and related border-security practices. The administrative detention and deportation of adults classified as ‘illegal’ escalated in the late 1990s with a policy shift from the detention of very small numbers of migrants in mainstream prisons to the development of specialist migrant detention facilities. Successive UK governments have argued that this escalation in detention is ‘an essential, everyday facet of immigration control’ and ‘regrettable but necessary’ (see Silverman 2012). However, while arguments about the ‘necessity’ of detention are grounded in notions of deterrence, threat and security, the expansion of immigration detention, and the practices that determine who is taken into detention, are also driven by business interests. Detention is a business, and the profits to be made are key determinants of both transnational and state-level policy formation and everyday detention practices. Further, this global business is proliferating new markets for global securities companies which extend outside the detention estate into the provision of services, such as housing and welfare for migrant and increasingly ‘citizen’ populations (for example in running prisons, policing and schools services). At this conference we will consider what Frances Webber describes as ‘the vexed question of when, if and how we should engage with statutory bodies and whether it is possible to do so without jeopardising the principles which led us to get involved in this work in the first place’? (Weber, 2012). Should activism and activist-scholarship aim to resist state practices of detention entirely, or work with private and state actors in order to change detention practices? What forms of critical intervention and resistance are useful or possible in this field? To address these and other questions, we have invited leading scholars, artists and activists to address to share their research and experience, and to reflect, listen, learn and debate questions of resistance to immigration detention, from local, national and global perspectives.

Event (Conference)

TitleThe Business of Immigration Detention: Activisms, Resistances, Critical Interventions.
Date21/01/1523/01/15
Location
CityLancaster
CountryUnited Kingdom
Degree of recognitionInternational event