Immigration Control at the Crossroads of Privatization, Securitization, and Global Justice

Nathanael Tilahun

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference contributionAcademic


    Immigration control is an area of governance that is currently hosting the dual trends of privatization and securitization. Immigration control, broadly defined, includes regulatory activities aimed at managing the in-flow of aliens, undertaken outside states’ territories, at ports of entry, and within states’ territories. These include the the processing of visa applications, the holding and processing of refugees, and the detention and deportation of aliens in general. In developed states, immigration control activates undertaken both inside and outside a state’s territory are increasingly being transferred to private companies. Medium and large multinational companies – some with employee sizes as large as 600,000 and portfolios in 10’s of billions of USD – are taking over immigration control activities. These private actors occupy a bizarre space at the crossroads of privatization, which necessitates the conversion of the field from a governmental domain into a service industry, and securitization, which is underpinned by a sense of public power. Gross human rights violations, ramshackle service, and cries of accountability are constant features of this industry. The ‘customers’ of this service industry being, in reality, people from developing states, immigration control is a spectacular venue where the new forces of privatization and securitization are seen guarding the old frontiers of global North-South power relations. This presentation will illustrate this dynamics by focusing on one aspect of this large market, the processing of visa applications, and taking the experience of one country, the United Kingdom, as a case study.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2015
    EventIGLP conference - Harvard Law School, USA
    Duration: 2 Jun 2015 → …


    ConferenceIGLP conference
    CityHarvard Law School, USA
    Period2/06/15 → …

    Research programs

    • SAI 2010-01 RRL
    • SAI 2010-01-I RRL sub 1


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