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Global Mobility and Penal Order: Criminalizing Migration, a View from Europe
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2012 (English)In: Sociology Compass, ISSN 1751-9020, Vol. 6, no 2, 113-121 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Globalization has increased the flow of people across Europe, bringing economic expansion and ethnic diversity. Open political borders have enhanced European integration and interdependence, creating a cosmopolitan European Union full of transnational citizens. Alongside this increased mobility, state coercion has been quietly on the rise. Since 1990, nearly every European democracy has increased incarceration, locking up common criminals and those perceived to be outsiders. Foreign nationals are overrepresented in nearly every European prison, making up over 50 percent of the prison population in Greece, 35 percent in Spain and Italy, for example, or 28 percent in Sweden. At the same time, the intensification of border control – the regulation of both territory and group membership – has subjected a growing number of people to detention and expulsion, as immigration itself has become, in part, criminalized. The controversial expulsion of the Roma, EU citizens, from France in the summer of 2010 and the large scale detention of North African migrants in Lampedusa, Italy during the Arab Spring of 2011, among other events, graphically illustrate the rise of state coercion, directed particularly against those perceived to be foreigners and mobile. This article analyzes the current state of the literature that brings us closer to understanding how and why European democracies resort to the criminal law and penal sanctioning to resolve broader conflicts over globalization, national identity, and economic restructuring by excluding others and by desperately trying to control and contain mobility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 6, no 2, 113-121 p.
Keyword [en]
immigration and crime control
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-70956DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-9020.2011.00444.xOAI: diva2:483343
Available from: 2012-01-25 Created: 2012-01-25 Last updated: 2012-12-13Bibliographically approved

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Barker, Vanessa
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