Boundaries of Freedom

Hilary term 2014 / Thursdays 14.00 - 15.30

Seminar Room, Pauling Centre, 58a Banbury Road, Oxford

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Debates about force and freedom are fundamental to migration theory and policy. The refugee/migrant binary that has been the subject of significant critique in research continues to underpin asylum and immigration policy, while considerable resources are devoted to distinguishing between the trafficked (forced) and the smuggled (free choice) migrant. Immigration policy has long sought to categorise and 'identify' those who must be rescued and those who must be punished. This seminar series will critically examine these distinctions, but it will also engage with the hidden compulsions of immigration controls (such as worker sponsorship) and the liberally discomforting explicit force of detention and deportation. What does this reveal about ideals of freedom? What does the foregrounding of the forced/free binary obfuscate?