Deportation limbo traces the efforts of two Nordic welfare states, Denmark and Sweden, to address the so-called implementation gap in deportation enforcement. It offers an original, empirically grounded account of how often-futile, injurious policy measures devoted to pressuring non-deported people to leave are implemented and contested in practice. In doing so, it presents a critique of the widespread, normalised use of detention, encampment, and destitution, which routinely fail to enhance deportations while exposing deportable people to conditions that cause their premature death. The book takes the ‘deportation limbo’ as a starting point for exploring the violent nature of borders, the racial boundaries of welfare states, and the limits of state control over cross-border mobility. Building on unprecedented access to detention and deportation camps and migration offices in both countries, it presents ethnographic material capturing frontline officials’ tension-ridden efforts to regulate non-deported people using forced deportation, incarceration, encampment, and destitution. Using a continuum of state violence as the analytical lens, the book offers a uniquely comprehensive account of how the borders of Nordic welfare states are drawn through practices that subject racialised ‘others’ to expulsion, incarceration, and destitution. The book is the first to systematically document the renewed deportation turn in Denmark and Sweden, and to critically examine its implications: for the people targeted by intensified deportation measures, and for the individual officials, institutions, and societies enforcing them. It offers an important, critical contribution to current debates on the violence of deportation regimes, the politico-bureaucratic structures and practices that sustain them, and their human costs.
prison officers, who are tasked with enforcing detention and deportations (Bosworth, 2014 ; Borrelli, 2021 ; Walters, 2019 ). Using political ethnography as a method of inquiry, the book draws on fieldwork and interviews with key actors and organisations involved in deportation enforcement. In doing so, the book traces how deportation regimes, and the dehumanisation they are premised on, impact and reconfigure the
Given the significant similarities and differences between the welfare states of Northern Europe and their reactions to the perceived 'refugee crisis' of 2015, the book focuses primarily on the three main cases of Denmark, Sweden and Germany. Placed in a wider Northern European context – and illustrated by those chapters that also discuss refugee experiences in Norway and the UK – the Danish, Swedish and German cases are the largest case studies of this edited volume. Thus, the book contributes to debates on the governance of non-citizens and the meaning of displacement, mobility and seeking asylum by providing interdisciplinary analyses of a largely overlooked region of the world, with two specific aims. First, we scrutinize the construction of the 2015 crisis as a response to the large influx of refugees, paying particular attention to the disciplinary discourses and bureaucratic structures that are associated with it. Second, we investigate refugees’ encounters with these bureaucratic structures and consider how these encounters shape hopes for building a new life after displacement. This allows us to show that the mobility of specific segments of the world’s population continues to be seen as a threat and a risk that has to be governed and controlled. Focusing on the Northern European context, our volume interrogates emerging policies and discourses as well as the lived experiences of bureaucratization from the perspective of individuals who find themselves the very objects of bureaucracies.
will change. (Conversation with Steve, 2021) This book has traced the continuum of state violence mobilised in the deportation limbo in Denmark and Sweden. Following a political ethnographic approach, it has centred on the perspectives of frontline workers tasked with implementing the policies designed to pressure non-deported people to leave, and
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