Affect and Authority in Immigration Detention

Punishment & Society, Online first doi.org/10.1177/1462474518803321

Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship Research Paper No. 3299531

19 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2018

See all articles by Mary Bosworth

Mary Bosworth

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; University of Oxford - Border Criminologies

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

Drawing on a long-term research project across a number of British Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs), this article considers the relationship between authority and affect. In contrast to much criminological literature on the prison, which advances a liberal political account in which power is constantly negotiated and based on mutual recognition, in detention, this article suggests, staff authority rests on an abrogation of their self rather than engagement with the other. Officers turn away (deny) and switch off (emotionally withdraw) from those before them in order to do their job. In these terms, we bear witness to the affective nature of wielding power at the border. Operating without a clear basis of moral legitimacy, officer testimonies make clear, is painful and corrosive, for staff and for detainees. It may work, in other words, but at what cost?

Keywords: affect, authority, immigration removal centres, legitimacy, liberalism, staff

Suggested Citation

Bosworth, Mary, Affect and Authority in Immigration Detention (2018). Punishment & Society, Online first doi.org/10.1177/1462474518803321; Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship Research Paper No. 3299531. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3299531

Mary Bosworth (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

University of Oxford - Border Criminologies ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Rd
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

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