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Governmental mobility : the power effects of the movement of detained asylum seekers around Britain's detention estate.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>03/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Political Geography
Issue number3
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)186-196
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


This paper explores the ways in which mobility can have governmental effects in the context of the management of asylum seekers awaiting deportation from the UK. Drawing upon the case of Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre, a facility for the incarceration of immigration deportees near Oxford, the paper makes the case that the way asylum seekers are moved between detention centres within the UK has implications for the way they are represented to both asylum activists and asylum sector employees, causing them to choose to use their influence differently by with-holding the support that they might otherwise provide. The constant moving and repositioning of asylum seekers means that they are depicted as transitory, fleeting and depersonalised to those actors with the greatest degree of influence over them. The subjection not only of asylum seekers through forceful, blunt forms of power, but also of more powerful asylum sector actors through subtler, governmental techniques, has significant material implications for the incarcerated asylum seeking community that populates Britain's detention estate.