Medicalising Immigration Detention

A four year fellowship funded by the Wellcome Trust, 2023 - 2027

This project will explore the role and impact of health provision on people inside immigration detention centres in Greece and after release. The focus will be on Greece as a key entry point for migrants and asylum seekers and a testing ground for European policies. The extant, albeit limited, scholarship has focused almost exclusively on the detrimental effects of immigration detention on the physical and mental health of those behind bars.

This project seeks to make a unique and timely contribution to the literature by examining how the immigration and public health systems coalesce in detention to shape and legitimate these contested institutions. Drawing on a range of sources of evidence, it will also explore the continuity of experiences of medical care across and beyond these spaces and through time. Taking an historical approach, it will trace connections between zones of quarantine and confinement for those deemed undesirable in the country.

Empirically grounded, this project will consist of fieldwork in four immigration detention facilities and in the community with a wide range of actors. Ethnographically oriented, it seeks to make visible the people confined within
these hidden spaces.