In this paper, Professor Bosworth will explore the nature and implications of administrative power in immigration detention for our understanding of punishment. While considerable critical attention has been paid to the punitive qualities of immigration removal centres and other forms of border control, rather less has been paid to their administrative form. As a result, we know very little about what administrative power looks like, nor do we have a clear vocabulary for referring to or understanding it. What does it feel like to exercise administrative power, or to be subject to it? By what means is control asserted and resisted? Perhaps most importantly of all, what justifies or challenges this form of penal power? Drawing on testimonies, observations, and photographs from a number of detention sites, Mary will suggest that as states around the world increasingly put the criminal justice system to work in managing migration, that administrative power is becoming increasingly intertwined with penal power, allowing for disparate and harsh treatment of those born elsewhere. Although the numbers in detention, at least in the UK, remain small, and the sites themselves banal with little investment in the symbolic aspects associated with the articulation of penal power, such places underpin numerous other interventions and restrictions on foreigners. In their architectural, staff and policy similarities to the prison, they recast punitive power as banishment, abandoning altogether aspiration for reintegration or rehabilitation.
Notes and Changes
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