This project explores what happens to our understanding of punishment when we place matters of identity and subjectivity at the centre of analysis. Revisiting the canon of texts in punishment and society, theoretical and applied, through the question of identity, it seeks to develop a new, gendered, postcolonial approach to penal power. Part of Mary Bosworth's ERC starter grant, this project has a number of strands, from an analysis of UK penal intitiatives in Nigeria and Jamaica, a study of juxtaposed controls in Calais, and ongoing research in and around immigration detention. Working with a range of colleagues in Border Criminologies, this project engages methodologically and conceptually with the changing nature of penality under conditions of mass mobility.
Subjectivity, Identity and Penal Power: Incarceration in a Global Age
Mary Bosworth (Principal Investigator, Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford)
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