Border Criminologies is pleased to announce the Leverhulme International Network on External Border Control. This network draws together three criminological research groups working on the intersections of criminal justice and migration control at the Universities of Oxford, Oslo, and Monash, headed by Mary Bosworth, Katja Franko Aas, and Sharon Pickering. Through generous funding from the Leverhulme Trust, the network will set up a new open-access SSRN series on the criminology of mobility and, via a series of linked events, support early career scholars working in this field. It will also enable us to merge data sets based at Border Criminologies (Oxford), the University of Oslo's ‘Crime Controls and the Borderlands of Europe’ group, and the Border Crossing Observatory (Monash), in order to map commonalities and differences across the geographical regions. In time, we hope to make the data open access as well.

 
Manor Road Building, University of Oxford, home to the Centre for Criminology and Border Criminologies
 

The SSRN series recognises and will facilitate current moves towards open access, making freely available published research on border control and working papers and regular research briefs on the comparative data analysis. It will widen access to research in this field, concretely establishing the salience of this field of academic research within criminology, sociology, and law. It will be supplemented by other web-based collaboration between the three partner institutions and a broader network of scholars, practitioners and those subject to border control, shared between the Border Criminologies website in Oxford and the Border Crossing Observatory in Monash. These websites will further support the set of linked seminars, developing a web-based network for early career scholars and a data-base of international practitioners and policy-makers.

The seminars will provide an opportunity for networking among the next generation of scholars, as well as mentoring from more senior colleagues. They will all include a site-based visit, integrating the voices and experiences of practitioners working in this sector. The three seminars will each focus on a different aspect of the network:

  • (a) Seminar 1, hosted by Monash University, will concentrate on issues of National border policing and deportation;
  • (b) Seminar 2, hosted by the University of Oxford, will concentrate on immigration detention and deportation; and
  • (c)  Seminar 3, hosted by the University of Oslo, will address regional policing and deportation.

In Melbourne, participants will visit the airport in order to speak with customs agents and Australian border protection command. In Oxford they will visit the local immigration detention centre, Campsfield House IRC, meeting with detainees, custody officers, and the local representatives from the UK Border Agency. In Oslo, participants will convene with police from FRONTEX, the EU agency charged with protecting Europe’s borders.

The administrator of the network will establish the online platform to facilitate data exchange and map the variables for comparative analysis. He or she will establish and maintain the software program, nomenclature, and formatting necessary for comparison. The administrator will also liaise with the relevant ethics granting bodies to confirm authorisation for comparative analysis. Finally, in addition to creating and maintaining the data sets, the administrator will facilitate the day-to-day activities of the SSRN series, and will assist with organising the seminars. In recognition of the methodological skills of the administrator and the central role of this post, he or she will attend the seminars and will be included in routine events in Oxford, ensuring that the post facilitates his or her research management and training. A job opening for this post will be announced in the new year.

Criminology is an inherently interdisciplinary field of study, drawing on ideas and methods from law, politics, sociology, anthropology, and social theory. In this project we bring together sociological, legal, security, and migration studies, as well as criminological theories of social control, international relations theories of state craft and feminist methodologies, to understand organisation and individual identities, cultures, and experiences. The project will pay particular attention to questions of race, gender, and postcolonialism, exploring their relevance to the nature and justification of external border control in these three different regions.