Mainwaring, C. and Silverman, S. J. (2017) Detention-as-spectacle. International Political Sociology, 11(1), pp. 21-38. (doi: 10.1093/ips/olw016)

140023.pdf - Accepted Version



Using a combination of migration studies, political sociology, and policy studies, this paper explores the contradictions and violence of immigration detention, its architectures, and its audiences. The concept of “detention-as-spectacle” is developed to make sense of detention’s hypervisible and obscured manifestations in the European Union. We focus particularly on two case studies, the United Kingdom and Malta, which occupy different geopolitical positions within the EU. Detention-as-spectacle demonstrates that detention is less related to deterrence and security than to displaying sovereign enforcement, control, and power. A central aspect of the sovereign spectacle is detention’s purported ability to order and even halt “crises” of irregular immigration, while simultaneously creating and reinforcing these crises. The paper concludes by examining recent disruptions to the spectacle, and their implications.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mainwaring, Dr Cetta
Authors: Mainwaring, C., and Silverman, S. J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:International Political Sociology
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1749-5687
Published Online:22 September 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Political Sociology 11(1): 21-38
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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