Ines Hasselberg is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Centre for Criminology (2013-2016). She responsible for leading the project "The Postcolonial Prison: Citizenship, Punishment and Mobility", which is part of a broader research endeavour entitled "Subjectivity, Identity and Penal Power: Incarceration in a Global Age", led by Prof Mary Bosworth, and funded by the European Research Council. Taking Portugal and England & Wales as case studies, “the postcolonial prison” will examine what the increasing number of foreign-national prisoners in Europe may tell us of the role of the prison in carving out national identity, explore whether this bears any relationship to the longer-standing issues of empire and colonialism, as well as map the position of prison within migrants' trajectories and broader global phenomena. She is Associate Director and co-editor of Border Criminologies

Ines completed her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Sussex (2013), in which she examined experiences of deportation and deportability of foreign-national offenders in the UK. Before, she worked in Mozambique and South Africa as an independent consultant, where she was involved in research projects on human security and firearms related violence. She holds a BA in Anthropology (ISCTE, Lisbon, 2001), an MA in Anthropology of Development and Social Transformation (University of Sussex, 2003) and an MSc in Comparative and Cross-Cultural Research Methods (University of Sussex, 2008).

Ines is on Twitter, Academia, ResearchGate, ORCID and LinkedIn


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  • Ines Hasselberg, Enduring Uncertainty. Deportation, Punishment and Everyday Life (Berghahn Books 2016)
    Focusing on the lived experience of immigration policy and processes, this volume provides fascinating insights into the deportation process as it is felt and understood by those subjected to it. The author presents a rich and innovative ethnography of deportation and deportability experienced by migrants convicted of criminal offenses in England and Wales. The unique perspectives developed here – on due process in immigration appeals, migrant surveillance and control, social relations and sense of self, and compliance and resistance – are important for broader understandings of border control policy and human rights.
    ISBN: 978-1-78533-022-3
  • Mary Bosworth, Ines Hasselberg and Sarah Turnbull, 'Imprisonment in a Global Age: Rethinking Penal Power in Y Jewkes, B Crewe and J Benne' in Y Jewkes, B Crewe and J Bennett (eds), Handbook of Prisons (Routledge 2016) (forthcoming)
    As states around the world increasingly use the prison in the pursuit of border control, penal power has expanded and shifted in its nature and effect. For foreign nationals serving custodial sentences, the experience of confinement is no longer bounded by the prison walls, but now may include a period of administrative detention as well. In addition to a second incarceration, many face deportation, sometimes to a country they have left long ago. In these experiences, they join others detained for immigration matters, held together in institutions redolent of familiar penal technologies while they await expulsion. Penal power extends geographically in other ways too, as states like the United Kingdom fund new prison wings and rehabilitation programs abroad in a bid to hasten the transfer of particular groups of foreigners, as well as detention centres and border control methods elsewhere designed to prevent their arrival. Drawing on research with foreign national prisoners and immigration detainees, as well as on recent policy and inspection reports, this chapter reflects on the implications of these developments for our understanding of the prison, arguing that a broader view is necessary to appreciate its changing characteristics.
    ISBN: 9780415745666
  • Ines Hasselberg, 'Reshaping possible futures: Deportation, home and the United Kingdom' (2016) 32 Anthropology Today 19
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-8322.12226
    In this article I examine how foreign nationals in the United Kingdom (UK) envisage the possibility of a forced return to their countries of origin. Drawing on ethnographic data collected in London among foreign national offenders appealing their deportation at the Immigration Tribunal, I show how preparations for an eventual return were seldom made by those appealing deportation, even if the prospect of their forced removal and its implications for the family left behind was constantly on their minds. Appealing deportation can be a long process; living with the risk of being deported strongly impacts on the plans the migrants had devised and hoped for before deportation intruded into their lives. In this sense, and in the course of the deportation process, migrants have to reshape their sense of possible futures to include family separation and possible departures – deportation being only one of these. Generational differences and sustained transnational connections were influential in the reshaping of these possible futures. The data presented shows how for most research participants deportation means ‘leaving the UK’ and not ‘returning home’.
  • Ines Hasselberg, 'Balancing legitimacy, exceptionality and accountability:on foreign offenders reluctance to engage in anti-deportation campaigns' (2015) 41 Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 563
    DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2014.957173
    This paper addresses the lack of collective political action and engagement in protests and anti-deportation campaigns (ADCs) on the part of foreign-national offenders facing deportation from the UK. Taking ADC guidelines from migrant support groups, and drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in London, I show that the circumstances of foreign-national offenders, and in particular their own understandings of their removal, appear incompatible with open political action and with the broader work of ADC support groups. The findings presented throughout this paper make the case that foreign-national offenders have conflicting notions about their deportation and their ‘right’ to protest and campaign against it, revealing how perceptions of legitimacy impact not only on how policies are lived and experienced but also on the scope for political action on the part of those who are experiencing those policies.
  • Heike Drotbohm and Ines Hasselberg, 'Editorial Introduction: Deportation, Anxiety, Justice. New Ethnographic Perspectives' (2015) 41 Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 551
    DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2014.957171
    This paper introduces a collection of articles that share ethnographic perspectives on the intersections between deportation, anxiety and justice. As a form of expulsion regulating human mobility, deportation policies may be justified by public authorities as measures responding to anxieties over (unregulated) migration. At the same time, they also bring out uncertainty and unrest to deportable/deported migrants and their families. Providing new and complementary insights into what ‘deportation’ as a legal and policy measure actually embraces in social reality, this special issue argues for an understanding of deportation as a process that begins long before, and carries on long after, the removal from one country to another takes place. It provides a transnational perspective over the ‘deportation corridor’, covering different places, sites, actors and institutions. Furthermore, it reasserts the emotional and normative elements inherent to deportation policies and practices emphasising the interplay between deportation, perceptions of justice and national, institutional and personal anxieties. The papers cover a broad spectrum of geographical sites, deportation practices and perspectives and are a significant and long overdue contribution to the current state of the art in deportation studies.
  • Ines Hasselberg, 'Coerced to Leave: Punishment and the Surveillance of Foreign-National Offenders in the UK' (2014) 12 Surveillance & Society 471
    Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in London among foreign-national offenders facing deportation from the United Kingdom, this paper seeks to examine how foreign-national offenders experience and understand state policies of control. Worldwide, foreign-nationals are increasingly subject to forms of state surveillance, not just when crossing borders but also during their stay within a given state’s territory. Detention centres, weekly or monthly reporting requirements, and electronic monitoring are already common migrant surveillance strategies allied to deportation policies in many countries across the globe. These forms of state control are conceived legally as administrative practices necessary to control foreign-nationals whose status is still being adjudicated and to enforce the removal of unwanted foreign-nationals. Consequently, these strategies are not inflicted through a judicial process, even though these same practices are used within the context of penal incarceration and supervision. The lived experience of deportability and associated state surveillance highlights the punitive and coercive effects of detention and related conditions of bail. Ironically, but perhaps not unintentionally, those who are deemed a risk and subject to surveillance and banishment are therefore constantly feeling vulnerable and in need of protection. Because they do not consider themselves a risk to society, the foreign-national offenders interviewed for this study understand state surveillance not as a measure of control, but rather as punishment for wanting to stay. In their eyes, it is designed to coerce them to leave. An examination of the experiences of detention and bail reveals how such forms of surveillance work to discipline deportable bodies.
    ISBN: 1477-7487
  • Ines Hasselberg, 'Whose security? The deportation of foreign-national offenders from the UK' in M Maguire, N Zurawski, C Frois (ed), The Anthropology of Security: Perspectives from the Frontline of Policing, Counter-Terrorism and Border Control (Pluto Press 2014)
    In the last decades, immigration policies have been refined to broaden eligibility to deportation and allow easier removal of unwanted foreign nationals. Deportation today is a normalised and distinct form of state power. In the UK, the rational for deportation of foreign-national offenders lies on three imperatives: the protection of the public, deterrence of crime and demonstration of society’s revulsion. Further, the increasing portrayal of foreign-national offenders as a risk and threat to public security has translated into operational practices that affect all foreign-national offenders independently of the risk they were assessed as posing to society. While appealing deportation, foreign-national offenders will experience chronic waiting and long-term anxiety, and are likely to be subjected to state surveillance. Deportability is thus experienced in relation to official bodies and embedded in the daily lives, social relations and sense of self of both deportable migrants and their families. Taking deportation not as an event but as a process that begins far before a migrant is forcibly removed from one country to another, I show how those who are deemed a risk and hence are subjected to surveillance and banishment are in fact constantly feeling vulnerable and in need of protection. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in London, I discuss experiences of deportation and deportability of foreign-national offenders that call for further discussion of the rationale behind deportation imperatives and related practices of state control over migrants.
  • F Meissner and Ines Hasselberg, 'Forever malleable: the field as a reflexive encounter' in H Snellman, L Hirvi (ed), Where is the Field? Exploring migration through the lenses of fieldwork (Finnish Literature Society 2012)



Research programmes

Research projects

Research Interests

migration, imprisonment, border control, punishment, postcolonialism, deportation

Research projects