Andriani is a Research Associate at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford. She is also the Managing Editor of the Border Criminologies blog and social media. As a researcher located in Greece, she has been part of international research on immigration detention, human rights and border control and has published widely on these issues. She is currently part of a project that aims to visualise what goes on in detention centres in order to increase public access to knowledge about immigration and the treatment of immigrants in detention settings. As a former practitioner, she has spent time in immigration detention centres all over Athens supporting and representing immigrant detainees, victims of torture and unaccompanied minors. She has also managed EU programmes on providing services to victims of torture and unaccompanied minors. Her PhD research is the first national study of immigration detention centres in the country. As such, it aims to map the immigration detention system and to record resistance mobilized against it. In doing so, it hopes to provide a critical account of state power and offer glimpses of hope about change in confinement institutions.


Recent additions

  • M Bosworth, F Esposito and A Fili, 'Accessing Justice from Immigration Detention in Greece and Italy' in B Faedda (ed), Rule of Law: Strategies, Experiences, and Interpretations (Ronzani Editore 2021) (forthcoming)
  • A Fili, 'Migrants as hygienic bombs: The case of immigration detention in Greece' in F Esposito, E Caja & G Mattiello (ed), Corpi reclusi in attesa di espulsione: La detenzione amministrativa in Europa al tempo della sindemia (Torino: SEB27 Edizioni 2021) (forthcoming)
  • A Fili, Mapping Resistance in Immigration Detention (Routledge 2021) (forthcoming)

Chapter (8)

M Bosworth, F Esposito and A Fili, 'Accessing Justice from Immigration Detention in Greece and Italy' in B Faedda (ed), Rule of Law: Strategies, Experiences, and Interpretations (Ronzani Editore 2021) (forthcoming)
A Fili, 'Migrants as hygienic bombs: The case of immigration detention in Greece' in F Esposito, E Caja & G Mattiello (ed), Corpi reclusi in attesa di espulsione: La detenzione amministrativa in Europa al tempo della sindemia (Torino: SEB27 Edizioni 2021) (forthcoming)
S Jahnsen, R Powell and A Fili, 'Criminal Justice research in an era of mass migration: concluding remarks' in A Fili, S Jahnsen and R Powell (eds), Criminal Justice Research in an era of mass mobility (Routledge 2018)
This chapter offers a better understanding of the often-messy process of criminal justice research and honest reflections about 'good' and 'bad' research practices. It offers examples of the multiple ways in which knowledge is produced in collaboration with and respect of the researched and how researchers negotiate their relationship with the field. The chapter explores how a researcher's background and location, as well as conceptualisations of the field, can affect the access, interpretation and presentation of prescient criminological questions and answers. Sarah Turnbull shares her reflections about the dangers of burnout after doing community-based and remote follow-up research with women and men that she first met at immigration removal centres in the UK, and later when they were living their 'post-detention lives'. She describes her experience of participants who looked to her for help out of their predicaments.
A Fili, 'Voices in immigration detention centres in Greece: Different actors and possibilities for change' in A Fili, S Jahnsen and R Powell (eds), Criminal Justice Research in an era of mass mobility (Routledge 2018)
Drawing on examples from my research experience and my work in the non-profit sector, this chapter aims to explore if and how we can speak for immigrant detainees. Taking Greece as the setting for the analysis, it considers how the third sector and academic research can help us understand and criticize detention, if at all. In it I argue that while NGOs offer much-needed services subsidized by the Greek government through European funding, their work seems more often than not to be aligned with the subdued environment the facilities wish to foster, thus further entrenching the system in the detention industrial complex. In this politically charged context, what is the purpose of ethnographic research? Rather than shying away from the civil society–academic gulf, this paper seeks to connect these disparate institutions and explore ways to open detention sites in Greece to a global gaze.
M Bosworth and A Fili, 'Immigration Detention in Greece and UK' in D Epps, R Furman and G Lamphear (eds), Detaining the Immigrant Other: Global and Transnational Issues (Oxford University Press 2016)
For too long, both Greece and Britain have sought to reduce rates of irregular migration by relying increasingly on detaining the immigrant other. In both countries, detention practices raise a series of profound normative questions. Starting with a general overview of the Greek and British immigration system, this article turns to focus more narrowly on life and experiences of detainees and staff in the many detention sites in the two countries. Drawing on ethnographic research in two European member states, this article hopes to contribute to the nascent body of applied research in this field. In so doing, we outline the need for more empirical analysis of life in immigration detention with a view to understanding the internal dynamics that condition how detention is experienced and managed in these two countries.
M Bosworth, A Fili and S Pickering, 'Women’s Immigration Detention in Greece: Gender, Control, and Capacity' in MJ Guia, V Mitsilegas and R Khoulish (eds), Immigration Detention, Risk and Human Rights (Springer 2016)
In this article we draw on fieldwork conducted in Athen’s Central Holding Centre for immigrants, Petrou Ralli, in 2012. Using testimonies from detainees and the staff who work with them we unveil the human impact of policies being implemented in response to transnational pressures from Brussels and to more local problems. What are women’s needs in detention? How do those who work in the detention centre view the women they lock up? What obstacles do detainees face, as women? How do they interpret their experiences? We also contribute to an emerging feminist body of literature in criminology concerned with the relationship between gender and border control.
A Fili and M Bosworth, 'Corrections, Gender-Specific Programming and Offender Re-entry' in C Renzetti, S Miller, S Gover (ed), Handbook of Gender and Crime Studies (Routledge 2010)
Since the 1990s, there has been considerable growth in studies of women’s imprisonment and re-entry as well as an expansion of an interconnected body of work that examines women’s offending internationally. In much of this literature women offenders, whether in prison or not, are portrayed as vulnerable, victimized and in need of care rather than punishment. At the same time, and in some contrast to the largely sympathetic feminist academic literature that has been produced, the number of women behind bars has been growing rapidly; there are now over half a million women and girls held in penal institutions around the world (International Centre for Prison Studies, 2006).

Book (1)

A Fili, Mapping Resistance in Immigration Detention (Routledge 2021) (forthcoming)

Internet Publication (2)

Journal Article (6)

L Weber, SB Mohn, F Vecchio and A Fili, 'Beyond deportation: researching the control of outward mobility using a space of flows logic' (2019) 20 Global Networks 65
Manuel Castells (1996) famously argued that human processes are increasingly operating according to the logic of flows and it has now become commonplace to analyse movements of people, information and commodities in terms of flows. However, scholars have been slow to capture the dynamics of border enforcement practices in these terms. In this article, we argue that ‘deportation’ can best be understood, not as a discrete practice that is unidirectional, territorial and wholly controlled by individual states, but as a range of diverse practices used by states (and sometimes undermined by other parties) to try to control the circulation of people within a dynamic supra-national space. By focusing on ‘mobility control continuums’ operating in selected countries at the peripheries of Europe, we capture the dynamics of state intervention in trans-border flows and thereby contribute towards developing concepts and methodologies for the criminological study of border controls that are ‘sensitive to the complexities of the global’ (Aas 2007).
A Fili and V Xythali, 'The continuum of neglect: Unaccompanied minors in Greece' (2017) 15 Social Work and Society International Online Journal
In 2015 over 850,000 asylum seekers and migrants made the perilous journey from Turkey to Greece in order to reach their final destination in another country in Europe. It is estimated that among them a large number of unaccompanied minors (UAM) could be found. However, this is not reflected in official statistics and therefore, the formation of policies cannot be substantiated. What is more, Greece’s overwhelmed protection system and the shortage of appropriate places for the most vulnerable refugees, prevents children to enjoy full access to their rights and puts them on a path from exploitation and trauma to sheer neglect. In this paper, we aim to unravel the complexities of the existing framework for the protection of minors in Greece, both in terms of legislative provisions and in practice. We aim to do this against the current context, which frames Greece as an ideal place for humanitarian interventions to ‘save’ the children.
M Bosworth, A Fili and S Pickering, 'Women and Border Policing at the Edges of Europe' (2017) 44 Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 2182
While states around the world have responded to mass mobility by increasing border policing, our knowledge of the daily reality of that form of policing remains limited. How migrant women are policed has been particularly neglected. The political and practical difficulty of examining the context, process and experience of border control practices appears often to be insurmountable. This article contributes to filling some of the gaps in our knowledge by drawing on ethnographic data collected over a 12-month period in Greek immigration detention centres from 2011 to 2012. In it we examine the experience of policing and irregular entry across the Greek Turkey border – an entry-point to Europe that is routinely regarded as being in crisis. As we will demonstrate, border policing at this site is capricious and unpredictable. It is also highly racialised and gendered.
A Fili, 'The maze of immigration detention in Greece: A case study of the airport detention facility in Athens' (2013) 205 Prison Service Journal 34
The paper will begin by giving an overview of the growing problem of irregular migration in Greece. Greece’s geographical location makes it an entry point into the EU for large flows of migrants from the Middle East, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Today, there are estimated to be around 500.000 irregular migrants in the country. However, with worsening conditions in the country due to the crisis (and with contacts in other more stable EU countries) many irregular migrants also now want to leave Greece. While most discussions of the subject concentrate on the inflow of migrants across the Evros river and land border with Turkey, this paper will discuss both the in and outflow of irregular migrants at Athens airport. Based on 6 months of fieldwork and interviews with hundreds of irregular migrants the paper will look at the problems migrants are facing in Greece and the strategies and technologies employed to evade the efforts of law enforcement at the border, including the use of human smuggling networks.
A Fili, 'Women in Prison: Victims or Resisters? Reflections on representation from Greece' (2013) 39 Signs
Women in prison have consistently been reconfigured in the literature. The prevailing binary is one that views women as either passive and victims or independent resisters. However, these definitions are exclusionary and do not inform each other. As a result, women in prison are employed as a tool for expressing specific theoretical ideologies and research expectations. Using Greece as a research example, I will attempt to take the debate forward and enable a discussion of the epistemology of theorizing and researching identity in women’s prisons.

Report (1)

Edited Book (1)

A Fili, S Jahnsen and R Powell (eds), Criminal Justice Research in an era of mass mobility (Routledge 2018)
We live in an era of mass mobility where governments remain committed to closing borders, engaging with securitisation discourses and restrictive immigration policies, which in turn nurture xenophobia and racism. It is within this wider context of social and political unrest that the contributors of this collection reflect on their experiences of conducting criminological research. This collection focuses on the challenges of doing research on the intersections between criminal justice and immigration control, choosing and changing methodologies while juggling the disciplinary and interdisciplinary requirements of the work’s audience. From research design, to fieldwork to writing-up, this book captures every part of the research process, drawing on a range of topics such as migration control, immigrant detention and border policing. It also reflects on more neglected areas such as the interpersonal and institutional contexts of research and the ontological and epistemological assumptions embedded within data analysis methods. It makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the major developments in current research in this field, how and why they occur and with what consequences. This book seeks to shake off the phantom of undisturbed research settings by bringing to the fore the researchers' involvement in the research process and its products. An interdisciplinary collection, it can be used as a reference not just for those interested in the criminology of mobility but also as a learning tool for anyone conducting research on a highly charged topic in contemporary policy and politics.
ISBN: 9780367482572


Research programmes

Research projects