Researching the moral worlds of border policing

Event date
26 September 2023
Event time
16:00 - 17:30
Oxford week
MT -1

Ana Aliverti and Irene Vega

Understanding the global migration control apparatus means also trying to unravel the dynamics of border policing and the perspectives and experiences of those working in border policing. Over the past couple of years, both within the field of regular policing, as well as in the field of migration and border control, some careful attention has been drawn to the ‘moral pains’ of (border) police. In this talk two experts in the field of border policing, Irene Vega (UC Irvine) and Ana Aliverti (University of Warwick), will be engaging in a conversation with each other about the moral worlds of border policing. They will reflect upon the question whether these moral worlds are consciously construed to make the violence and coercion that is part of border policing more palatable or whether the story is more complex. Furthermore, they will discuss the access challenges of doing this type of research with border officials, the ethical dilemmas they encountered in the field, and reflect on the importance of comparative research on border policing. While being in conversation with each other, the speakers will also actively engage with the online audience. This online event is co-sponsored by Leiden University’s Interdisciplinary research programme Social Citizenship & Migration and the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance & Society.

The session will be chaired by Dr. Maartje van der Woude (Leiden Law School, the Netherlands)



Ana Aliverti

Ana Aliverti is a Professor of Law at the School of Law, University of Warwick. She holds a D.Phil. in Law (Oxford, 2012), an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice (Distinction, Oxford, 2008), an MA in Sociology of Law (IISL, 2005) and a BA in Law (Honours, Buenos Aires, 2002). Her research explores questions of national identity and belonging in criminal justice, and of law, sovereignty and globalisation. She has led extensive empirical work in the UK’s criminal justice and immigration systems. She is the author of Crimes of Mobility(Routledge, 2013) and Policing the Borders Within (OUP, 2021). She was co-awarded the British Society of Criminology Best Book Prize for 2014, and received the British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award (BARSEA) (2015), the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Law (2017), and the British Journal of Criminology’s Radzinowicz Prize for her article ‘Benevolent Policing? Vulnerability and the Moral Pains of Border Controls’. She is co-Director of the Criminal Justice Centre at Warwick, and serves in various editorial boards.


Irene Vega

Irene I. Vega is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. Her broad areas of expertise are in international migration, racial/ethnic group formation, socio-legal studies, and educational inequality. Dr. Vega is currently working on a book project on the racial and moral logics that undergird the U.S. immigration enforcement bureaucracy. Her other work has been published in Social Problems, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and American Behavioral Scientist, among other venues.



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