1st Edition

Intimate Economies of Immigration Detention Critical perspectives

Edited By Deirdre Conlon, Nancy Hiemstra Copyright 2017
    262 Pages
    by Routledge

    262 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    International migration has been described as one of the defining issues of the twenty-first century. While a lot is known about the complex nature of migratory flows, surprisingly little attention has been given to one of the most prominent responses by governments to human mobility: the practice of immigration detention.

    Intimate Economies of Immigration Detention provides a timely intervention, offering much needed scrutiny of the ideologies, policies and practices that enable the troubling, unparalleled and seemingly unbridled growth of immigration detention around the world. An international collection of scholars provide crucial new insights into immigration detention recounting at close range how detention’s effects ricochet from personal and everyday experiences to broader political-economic, social and cultural spheres. Contributors draw on original research in the US, Australia, Europe, and beyond to scrutinise the increasingly tangled relations associated with detention operation and migration management. With new theoretical and empirical perspectives on detention, the chapters collectively present a toolbox for better understanding the forces behind and broader implications of the seemingly uncontested rise of immigration detention.

    This book is of great interest to those who study political economy, economic geography and immigration policy, as well as policy makers interested in immigration.

    Foreword: On the depth and importance of intimate economies

    Alison Mountz

    Chapter 1: Introduction: Intimate economies of immigration detention

    Deirdre Conlon and Nancy Hiemstra


    Chapter 2: Detained beyond the sovereign: conceptualising non-state actor involvement in immigration detention

    Michael Flynn

    Chapter 3: Discretion, contracting, and commodification: privatisation of US immigration detention as a technology of government

    Lauren Martin

    Chapter 4: In the market of morality: international human rights standards and the immigration detention "improvement" complex

    Julia Morris

    Chapter 5: Bearing witness and the intimate economies of immigration detention centres in Australia

    Caroline Fleay

    Chapter 6: Managing capacity, shifting burdens: social reproduction and the intimate economies of immigrant family detention

    Jill Williams and Vanessa Massaro

    Chapter 7: On exterior and interior detention regimes: governing, bordering, and economy in transit migration across Mexico

    Mario Bruzzone



    Chapter 8: Captive consumers and coerced labourers: intimate economies and the expanding US detention regime

    Nancy Hiemstra and Deirdre Conlon

    Chapter 9: Intimate economies of ambiguity and erasure: Darwin as Australia’s 2011-2012 ‘capital of detention’

    Kate Coddington

    Chapter 10: Pocket money: everyday precarities in the Danish asylum system

    Malene Jacobsen

    Chapter 11: Health and intimacies in immigration detention

    Nick Gill

    Chapter 12: Intimate encounters with immigrant criminalisati


    Deirdre Conlon is a Lecturer in Critical Human Geography at the University of Leeds, UK. Her research examines immigration enforcement and detention in policy and practice, their effects on migrant (in)security, citizenship and everyday life, as well as the wider reverberations of immigration control.

    Nancy Hiemstra is Assistant Professor of Migration Studies at Stony Brook University in New York, USA. Her research analyses the geopolitical and socio-cultural reverberations of restrictive immigration policies and practices in the United States and Latin America, with a focus on US detention and deportation.

    ‘This impressive and wide-ranging collection brings together leading scholars to expose the intimate economies, experiences, and processes that shape immigration detention. From the pocket money provided for asylum seekers in Danish detention centres, to the growing capacity of the detention estate across Europe, this collection traces a series of politically astute linkages between intimate experiences and global processes. By placing detention at the heart of contemporary migration, Conlon and Hiemstra have produced a volume that makes a critical intervention into debates over mobility, governance, and the politics of citizenship. In foregrounding the entangled relationships of detention, this volume contributes both a theoretically innovative focus on the intimate, whilst also calling attention to the political and ethical urgency of challenging detention across the world. Anyone interested in understanding the immigration detention industry, and in actively contesting it, will find inventive, insightful, and powerful resources in this book.’ — Jonathan Darling, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Manchester, UK

    ‘Deirdre Conlon and Nancy Hiemstra have pulled together an astonishing collection of essays which focus on the intimate economies of immigration detention and shed light on the lived experiences of being detained in several countries. The wide geographic range presented in this collection is impressive and helps give the reader a sense of the extent to which immigration detention has become a global phenomenon. The collection is theoretically and empirically innovative, providing us both with new ways of thinking about the increasingly-common practice of detention as well as new insights into the significant physical and emotional toll detention takes on migrants’ lives. The editors creatively build on concepts of accumulation and dispossession to advance our conceptual understanding of the intimate economie