This term has been busy for Border Criminologies. We have organised and participated in events in the UK and abroad, and our research team has been involved in ongoing fieldwork in a number of European countries. 

Our Director Mary Bosworth was invited to give oral evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights Inquiry into Immigration Detention. You can read her written submission here.

This term we were proud to announce the winners of the second Border Criminologies dissertation Prize. This year’s competition was very strong and the review panel were particularly impressed with the originality and level of empirical inquiry. The winner and two runner-ups received £200 and £100 worth of Routledge books. You can read their excellent dissertations here, here and here. Stay tuned for next year’s call!   

The Border Criminologies team continues to grow and branch out from its Oxford base. In November we welcomed one new Associate Director, Victoria Canning, who has written a lot about the UK asylum system. Sanja Milivojevic and Peter Mancina have also joined Gabriella Sanchez as co-book review editors. We are currently looking for academics/researchers/practitioners to review new books examining border control/immigration control apparatuses globally. Your review will be open access. Please consider working with us.

Our blog is widely read and attracts an international audience from more than 170 countries. Only this term the blog was visited 48,967 times. We published 33 new posts, including three book reviews and a themed series on border control and the criminalization of African asylum seekers in Israel. You can read this term’s 5 most read posts here, here, here, here and here. Next year we will be publishing a themed series with summaries of chapters from this book on a series of methodological and ethical challenges, many of which spring from the politically contentious nature of migration, borders and security and from the vulnerability of those subject to border controls. We will also run more ‘from the field’ posts with contributors from around the word reporting about their fieldwork experiences. Stay tuned and get in touch if you want to contribute to the blog.

Our SSRN ‘Criminal Justice, Borders & Citizenship Research Paper Series’ is continuing to expand too. Following SSRN’s objective to offer research papers downloadable for free, our series showcases interdisciplinary research on the intersections between criminal justice and migration control, making all papers freely available. We now have more than 260 papers on our series. Each submitted paper is included in up to 12 of SSRN's 1000+ subject matter journals across multiple networks, and has publication priority over other non-research paper series submissions. Distribution of the paper can exceed 5,000-10,000 recipients, increasing exposure for the research significantly. Since May 2014, our papers have been downloaded over 46,000 times, with only this term 1,885 times. We invite you to take this opportunity and make your research widely available through this open access platform. You can see our call here and send your papers here.

As part of the second phase of our ESRC-IAA project, which seeks to work with policymakers and practitioners in Greece and Turkey to understand the processes and challenges of monitoring human rights, how to overcome them and what resources are needed for effective monitoring practices, we organised a series of knowledge exchange and capacity building visits. Members of the research team traveled to Greece and Turkey to observe the monitoring activities of the National Preventive Mechanisms in both countries. There, we have concentrated on the methodology, structure and implementation of monitoring activities, and offered onsite feedback in formal debriefing sessions. In September 2018, with the assistance of Ms Gavriella Morris from HMIP, we held a knowledge exchange workshop in Greece to help increase the effectiveness of human rights based detention monitoring through capacity building.

Part of this project was to create briefing papers to bring a range of actors into dialogue to explore the potential for social change and for creating channels of accountability in the detention infrastructure. The first briefing paper outlines the methodology used by HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP), which inspects places of confinement in the UK, including prisons, police and court custody, and military detention. HMIP has been routinely monitoring immigration detention since 2004 (see Bhui 2017). The second briefing paper maps the work and challenges facing civil society organisations in Greece, which are working with detainees. While a number of organisations monitor conditions in detention, most of their work is small-scale, and little of it is joined up. Organisations often lack secure funding or experienced staff. Under these conditions, their capacity to bring about change is limited. The following briefing papers will explore the methodology of both the Greek and Turkish NPMs and the challenges they face, as well as their opportunities for progress.

Outdoor exercise area in Petrou Ralli pre-removal detention centre in Athens (Photo: Gavriella Morris)

Maartje van der Woude’s 5-year project ‘Getting to the Core of Crimmigration: Assessing the Role of Discretion in Intra-Schengen Cross-border Management’ is about half way through and both PhD students – Neske Baerwaldt and Maryla Klajn – have been spending time in the field (Germany and Poland) for their first round of data collection on the local and national dynamics of crimmigration control. Vicky Canning finished her ESRC Future Research Leader fellowship focusing on gendered harms in asylum process in Britain, Denmark and Sweden. A report is coming soon but an interview about it can be found here.  

Our members have produced a number of scholarly outputs. Mary Bosworth had an article, ‘Authority and Affect in Immigration Detention’ accepted for Punishment & Society drawing on her research with staff in British immigration removal centres. Read it here on online first. Sanja Milivojevic published ‘Stealing the fire’, 2.0 style? Technology, the pursuit of mobility, social memory and de-securitization of migration’ in which she analyses the role smartphones and social media play in constructing social memory (and consciousness) of bordering practices, examining predominant accounts of migration, de-securitizing and re-humanizing mobility and attaining freedom of movement. You can read her book chapters on Australia’s response to human trafficking and on researching human trafficking here and here.

Juliet Stumpf co-authored Big Immigration Law with Stephen Manning of the Innovation Law Lab, forthcoming in the UC Davis Law Review. The article describes a new conceptualization of immigrant advocacy that provides legal representation on a large scale through massive collaborative representation. Like other mass advocacy models that aggregate clients and lawyers such as large law firms and the class action device, the big immigration law model has potential to change the balance of power between individuals and private or governmental entities, restore unhealthy adjudication ecosystems that undermine access to justice, or improve blocked procedural or practical pathways to substantive legal norms such as asylum. The Boston College Law Review published Understanding Sanctuary Cities, which Juliet co-authored with Christopher N. Lasch, Linus Chan, Ingrid Eagly, Dina Francesca Haynes, Annie Lai, and Elizabeth McCormick. The article evaluates criminal justice-related sanctuary policies, and resulted in a publicly accessible online library of the policies that the authors analyzed. Stumpf also co-authored Divorcing Deportation with students from her Transformative Immigration Law & Policy course and Stephen Manning, published in the Lewis & Clark Law Review, which follows the initiatives of one state’s attempt to address the demonization of immigrants. Juliet is currently drafting a monograph tentatively titled The Crimmigration Crisis: The Past, Present, and Future of a Global Phenomenon, which she presented at the CINETs conference at Queen Mary in the fall. 

This month Gabriella Sanchez published a report on border turnbacks with the Strauss Center at the University of Texas at Austin and the Center for US-Mexico Studies at the University of California San Diego (you can read her Border Criminologies blog post here). Earlier, a special issue on migrant children and data she edited for IOM and the participatory research with children who facilitate border crossings and their families on the US Mexico Border were out. Maartje van der Woude, coauthored an article on how risk assessment technology in migration control impacts the decision-making process and to what extent it does make the decision-making process more objective and another on the decision-making processes of Dutch border police officers.

Together with Lisa Matthews at Right to Remain, Vicky Canning developed the Right to Remain asylum navigation board. This informs people seeking asylum of their rights at each stage of the process, and highlights potential problems that may arise and actions that can be taken if they do. The boards are aimed at frontline, organisations, but can also be used in Universities to teach students about the UK asylum process. You can read her blog post on the board here. While Andriani Fili has been working on her monograph ‘Mapping Resistance in Immigration Detention’ conducting interviews with a range of stakeholders in Greece, her chapter ‘Containment practices of immobility in Greece’ was published here.

Peter Mancina’s book chapter ‘Sanctuary Cities and Sanctuary-Power: Governmental Strategy for a Borderless World’ appears in a book edited by geographer Reece Jones titled Open Borders: In Defense of Free Movement. It provides an introduction to sanctuary city governmental regimes in the United States. It argues that sanctuary cities should properly be thought of as ‘humanitarian’ immigration control apparatuses that facilitate the deportations of undocumented people suspected of committing crimes, but which nonetheless insinuate and experiment with how city governance could operate in a world without nations, national or global citizenship, immigration enforcement, and borders. Sanja Milivojevic’s new book Border Policing and Security Technologies will be published by Routledge in early 2019.

Vanessa Barker, Professor of Sociology at Stockholm University, gave a number of talks on her book Nordic Nationalism and Penal Order about Sweden’s response to the solidarity crisis in 2015 and discussed why and how the welfare state closes itself off to migrants and refugees. Most recently she participated in the Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies Symposium on Migration, along with fellow BC member Gabriella Sanchez. Video of the presentations and panel discussions are here. Vanessa also talked about penal nationalism at the Managing Migration through Criminal Tools at the University of Milan. At the European Society of Criminology in Sarajevo, Vanessa, Katja Franko and May-Len Skilbrei organized a panel on the challenges and future trajectories for Border Criminology. With Mary Bosworth and Liz Kullman, she has been working on the video series for our Border Criminologies YouTube Channel. You can watch a series of short videos on members’ new books, research updates, and conversations about key topics in Border Criminologies, including one on Vanessa’s new book project on penal imperialism and postcolonial theory. As we understand the power of collective movements and importance of collaboration for innovation, we welcome members to contribute videos of their own. We are developing two streams of video projects: one based on Border Criminologies research findings that can contribute to public understandings and debate; and the second based on ideas for reform and a future without border violence. If you would like to contribute, please follow the guidelines and suggestions here

This term, Alpa Parmar participated in the SOLIDERE conference in Athens and presented a paper on 'Policing Migration and Racial Technologies', which will be published next year. Over the last term Alpa has mainly focused on  writing up the findings from the Policing Migration project and has been attending deportation hearings in London that rely on police intelligence gathered under Operation Nexus as part of the final phase of the research. Alpa also co-hosted a workshop at the London School of Economics titled 'Race Matters' which brought together international scholars from sociology and criminology working on race and criminal justice. 

In 2019, a series of events are planned. On January 22nd Border Criminologies will bring to Oxford, Victoria Canning (University of Bristol), Shahram Khosravi (Stockholm University) and Annika Lindberg (University of Bern) to discuss the use of immigration detention, welfare restrictions and deportation in Scandinavia and the UK, and the implications these have on migrant groups. In March, we will be hosting the final event of our ESRC project in Athens, Greece. The event will bring together high-level stakeholders and practitioners from Greece, Turkey (together with HMIP and the Home office) and will present the outputs developed in the project and generate dialogue about how they might best be taken forward.

Sanja Milivojevic will be attending UNODC's three-day expert consultation session at the UNODC Headquarters in Vienna, Austria, on 28-30 January 2019, for the revision and updating of the Legislative Guide for the Implementation of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.

As ever if you have ideas for workshops, blog posts or research projects, please get in touch. Working together is vital in the current climate, and resources go further when pooled. 

We wish all our readers a happy and peaceful holiday period, and all the best for the New Year. See you in January!