Can Immigration Centres be Legitimate?

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Date(s) - 27 Mar 2013
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Room E457

Mary Bosworth, Reader in Criminology, University of Oxford and Professor of Criminology at Monash University

This paper critically assesses the purpose of immigration detention in the UK. Drawing on 18 months of fieldwork and interviews with detainees and staff in five immigration removal centres (IRCs), it examines the implications of these places for criminological understanding about carceral power under conditions of globalisation. Specifically, it considers whether the concept of legitimacy, that has been so productive elsewhere in criminology, can be a useful tool in developing a critical analysis and politics of immigration detention or whether this custodial practice exposes its limits.  Can immigration detention centres be legitimate or do we need a new vocabulary to understand them?

Mary Bosworth is Reader in Criminology and Fellow of St Cross College at the University of Oxford and, concurrently, Professor of Criminology at Monash University, Australia. Dr Bosworth conducts research into the ways in which prisons and immigration detention centres uphold notions of race, gender and citizenship and how those who are confined negotiate their daily lives. Her research is international and comparative and has included work conducted in Paris, Britain, the USA and Australia. Dr Bosworth is currently conducting a national study of life in UK immigration detention centres. This project is funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the John Fell Fund and by the British Academy.  She is also, with colleagues from Monash University, conducting research in Greek Immigration Detention Centres.  Details of both of these projects can be found on the website She is the UK Editor-in-Chief of Theoretical Criminology and a member of the editorial boards of the British Journal of Criminology and Race & Justice.

Wednesday 27th March, 1-2pm, Room E457 (4th Floor, Menzies Building 11, Monash University Clayton) RSVP to by Monday 22nd March