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The Criminalisation of Social Policy in Neoliberal Societies$
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Elizabeth Kiely and Katharina Swirak

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781529202960

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2022

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529202960.001.0001

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Criminalising Borders, Migration and Mobility

Criminalising Borders, Migration and Mobility

(p.56) 4 Criminalising Borders, Migration and Mobility
The Criminalisation of Social Policy in Neoliberal Societies

Elizabeth Kiely

Katharina Swirak

Policy Press

This chapter draws attention to the interrelated processes of the criminalisation of immigration, as well as the growing imbrication of immigration control with social policy that arise in a world where national sovereignty, citizenship and the corresponding attribution of rights are inextricably linked. It is shown how this not only includes the overtly violent and punitive practices of border policing, detention and deportation, but extends to the exclusion and penalisation of migrants through the operation of the welfare state and what at the surface appear to be ‘liberal’ policies, affecting poor migrants disproportionately. Consideration is also given to how criminalisation of migration is discursively and materially weaponised through ethno-racial othering strategies. Throughout this chapter, it is apparent that the exclusionary processes in operation for those who are deemed to be ‘outsiders’ of our ‘imagined nations’ (Anderson, 1983), are similar to the dividing practices deployed by neoliberal welfare states to determine ‘deservingness’ amongst its citizenry, yet they are experienced much more harshly by those excluded from the citizenry. The chapter concludes by suggesting that a world without borders must be kept on the horizon, if also not immediately achievable.

Keywords:   Crimmigration, Welfare chauvinism, Welfare nationalism, Criminalisation of solidarity, Securitisation, Ethno-racial governing, Bordering practices, Immigration detention

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