The Deportation Regime

Sovereignty, Space, and the Freedom of Movement

The Deportation Regime

Book Pages: 522 Illustrations: 1 table Published: May 2010

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Law, Sociology > Migration Studies

This important collection examines deportation as an increasingly global mechanism of state control. Anthropologists, historians, legal scholars, and sociologists consider not only the physical expulsion of noncitizens but also the social discipline and labor subordination resulting from deportability, the threat of forced removal. They explore practices and experiences of deportation in regional and national settings from the U.S.-Mexico border to Israel, and from Somalia to Switzerland. They also address broader questions, including the ontological significance of freedom of movement; the historical antecedents of deportation, such as banishment and exile; and the development, entrenchment, and consequences of organizing sovereign power and framing individual rights by territory.

Whether investigating the power that individual and corporate sponsors have over the fate of foreign laborers in Bahrain, the implications of Germany’s temporary suspension of deportation orders for pregnant and ill migrants, or the significance of the detention camp, the contributors reveal how deportation reflects and reproduces notions about public health, racial purity, and class privilege. They also provide insight into how deportation and deportability are experienced by individuals, including Arabs, South Asians, and Muslims in the United States. One contributor looks at asylum claims in light of an unusual anti-deportation campaign mounted by Algerian refugees in Montreal; others analyze the European Union as an entity specifically dedicated to governing mobility inside and across its official borders. The Deportation Regime addresses urgent issues related to human rights, international migration, and the extensive security measures implemented by nation-states since September 11, 2001.

Contributors: Rutvica Andrijasevic, Aashti Bhartia, Heide Castañeda , Galina Cornelisse , Susan Bibler Coutin, Nicholas De Genova, Andrew M. Gardner, Josiah Heyman, Serhat Karakayali, Sunaina Marr Maira, Guillermina Gina Nuñez, Peter Nyers, Nathalie Peutz, Enrica Rigo, Victor Talavera, William Walters, Hans-Rudolf Wicker, Sarah S. Willen


The Deportation Regime is a welcome contribution to current debates about the politics of immigration and more specifically the role of deportation and exclusion in this field. It will be of interest to both scholars and students alike and it is a must read book for those concerned with the core themes that it covers.” — John Solomos, Ethnic and Racial Studies

The Deportation Regime not only conveys detailed information about a large number of countries; it also provides exposure to a wide variety of archives through the diversity of the authors’ countries of training (Canada, England, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States), their careers (in law, NGOs, as well as the university), and the variation in the stages of their careers. Moreover, the editors did a fabulous job of selecting fourteen extremely well-written and illuminating essays that
nicely complement each other.” — Jacqueline Stevens, Perspectives on Politics

“In short, the essays comprising this book are empirically rich and analytically thorough. Through an examination of deportation, they confront ingrained perceptions of experiences of citizenship and provide challenging critiques of migration law, citizenship and rights. Thus, this book would be of interest to a wide range of potential audiences.” — Ines Hasselberg, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

“This collection is truly impressive. It demonstrates the importance of deportation as a mechanism for producing citizenship and alienage, nations, states, and territories in both theory and practice.” — Bridget Anderson, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“This volume does a superb job of theorizing deportation beyond a mere act; in doing so we get a greater appreciation of how such acts are intricately linked to nation-state projects under globalization and have economic implications. It also points out the implications such a regime has for individuals’ experiences of freedom.” — Joanna Dreby, American Studies

The Deportation Regime is an important and timely book, both for theory and for politics. A series of well-written case studies (from across the world) accompanied by a smart introduction by Nicholas De Genova, the collection urges us to see the undocumented migrant/sans papiers/deportable alien/stateless citizen as paradigmatic of our time, as norm rather than exception, and thus as constitutive of sovereignty and the political today.” — Charles Piot, author of Remotely Global: Village Modernity in West Africa

“This valuable collection of essays treating deportation as a distinct form of state social control shows convincingly that deportation demands more specific attention from social theorists. The ethnographically rich and theoretically informed essays provide fascinating case studies on the functioning of the deportation regime in different national settings.” — Linda Bosniak, author of The Citizen and the Alien: Dilemma of Contemporary Membership


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Nicholas De Genova has taught anthropology and Latino studies at Columbia University, Stanford University, the University of Bern, and the University of Amsterdam. He is the author of Working the Boundaries: Race, Space, and “Illegality” in Mexican Chicago and the editor of Racial Transformations: Latinos and Asians Remaking the United States, both also published by Duke University Press.

Nathalie Peutz is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Wayne State University.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments vii

Introduction / Nathalie Peutz and Nicholas De Genova 1

Part One. Theoretical Overview

The Deportation Regime: Sovereignty, Space, and the Freedom of Movement / Nicholas De Genova 33

Part Two. Sovereignty and Space

1. Deportation, Expulsion, and the International Police of Aliens / William Waltes 69

2. Immigration Detention and the Territoriality of Universal Rights / Galina Cornelisse 101

3. Mapping the European Space of Circulation / Serhat Karakayali and Enrica Rigo 123

Part Three. Spaces of Deportability

4. From Exception to Excess: Detention and Deportations across the Mediterranean Space / Rutvica Andrijasevic 147

5. Deportation in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands: Anticipation, Experience, and Memory / Victor Talavera, Guillermina Gina Núñez, and Josiah Heyman 166

6. Engulfed: Indian Guest Workers, Bahraini Citizens, and the Structural Violence of the Kafala System / Andrew M. Gardner 196

7. Deportation at the Limits of "Tolerance": The Juridical, Institutional, and Social Construction of "Illegality" in Switzerland / Hans-Rudolf Wicker 224

8. Deportation Deferred: "Illegality," Visibility, and Recognition in Contemporary Germany / Heide Castañeda 245

9. Citizens, "Real" Others, and "Other" Others: The Biopolitics of Otherness and the Deportation of Unauthorized Migrant Workers from Tel Aviv, Israel / Sarah S. Willen 262

10. Radical Deportation: Alien Tales from Lodi and San Francisco / Sunaina Maira 295

Part Four. Forced Movement

11. Fictions of Law: The Trial of Sulaiman Oladokun, or Reading Kafka in an Immigration Court / Aashti Bhartia 329

12. Exiled by Law: Deportation and the Inviability of Life / Susan Bibler Coutin 351

13. "Criminal Alien" Deportees in Somaliland: An Ethnography of Removal / Nathalie Peutz 371

Part Five. Freedom

14. Abject Cosmopolitanism: The Politics of Protection in the Anti-Deportation Movement / Peter Nyers 413

References 443

Contributors 483

Index 497
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Association for Borderlands Studies 2011 Bronze Award

Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-4576-3 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4561-9
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