One-Day Workshop on The Meaning and Practice of Immigration Detention: Perspectives from Legal, Social, and Political Theory

21 May 2010,

Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford
09.00 – 17.00

The workshop was generously funded by St Antony’s College, the Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society (COMPAS), and the Refugee Studies Centre, all at the University of Oxford.

Click here for an overview of the workshop.

Click here to listen to the podcast of the workshop

Click here for details of the project on 'Expulsion, Membership and Political Community'

The conveners of the workshop have set up an email list-serve that is free to join and open to anyone who is interested in continuing this discussion on immigration detention.  If you are interested, please contact either Stephanie Silverman ( or Evelyne Massa (

Workshop Schedule:

08.30 - 9.00    Tea and Coffee Reception, and Opening Remarks

09.00 - 10.30   Legal Approaches Panel

Cathryn Costello (Faculty of Law, University of Oxford)
Human Rights & the Elusive Universal Subject: Detention of Asylum Seekers and Irregular Entrants under IHRL and EU Law

Michael Flynn   (Global Detention Project, Graduate Institute of Geneva)
Immigration Detention and the Aesthetics of Incarceration
View the presentation here

Dallal Stevens  (Faculty of Law, University of Warwick)
The law’s approach to detention of asylum seekers: help or hindrance?
Read the paper here

10.30 - 12.00   Political Theory Panel

Raffaela Puggioni (Political Science, John Cabot University, Rome)
The Politics of the Camp: Borders, National Communities, and the Clandestino

Anaïs Rességuier (Forced Migration / International Development, University of Oxford)
Detention at the Border: Sovereignty and Juridical Order
Read the paper here

12.00 - 13.30   LUNCH in Manor Road Building Common Room

13.30 - 15.00   Campsfield House Case Study Panel

Frank Arnold (Medical Justice Network)
Medical Implications of Immigration Detention in the UK

Melanie Griffiths (Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford)
“I’m not a criminal but I’ve been here 11 months” - the Criminalisation of Asylum Seekers in a British Immigration Detention Centre
Read the paper here

Axel Klein (Centre for Health Services Studies, University of Kent) and Lucy Williams (Social Policy, Sociology, and Social Research, University of Kent)
How do former immigration detainees integrate into local communities post-release?
Read the paper here

15.00 - 15.30   TEA BREAK

15.30 - 16.30   Citizenship and Government Technologies Panel

Nicholas Gill (Environment Centre, University of Lancaster)
Rules of engagement: Governmentality, ‘technologies of citizenship’ and everyday protest in asylum detention facilities

Jacqueline Stevens (Law and Society, University of California at Santa Barbara)
US Government Illegally Deporting US Citizens

16.30 – 17.00   Reflections on the Workshop and Closing Remarks

Moderated by Evelyne Massa   (Department of Sociology, University of Oxford) and Stephanie J. Silverman  (Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford)