Deportation, Anxiety, Justice: New Ethnographic Perspectives (Heike Drotbohm & Ines Hasselberg, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Volume 41, 2015 – Issue 4)

This paper introduces a collection of articles that share ethnographic perspectives on the intersections between deportation, anxiety and justice. As a form of expulsion regulating human mobility, deportation policies may be justified by public authorities as measures responding to anxieties over (unregulated) migration. At the same time, they also bring out uncertainty and unrest to deportable/deported migrants and their families. Providing new and complementary insights into what ‘deportation’ as a legal and policy measure actually embraces in social reality, this special issue argues for an understanding of deportation as a process that begins long before, and carries on long after, the removal from one country to another takes place. It provides a transnational perspective over the ‘deportation corridor’, covering different places, sites, actors and institutions. Furthermore, it reasserts the emotional and normative elements inherent to deportation policies and practices emphasising the interplay between deportation, perceptions of justice and national, institutional and personal anxieties. The papers cover a broad spectrum of geographical sites, deportation practices and perspectives and are a significant and long overdue contribution to the current state of the art in deportation studies.