Skip to content

Bureaucratised Banality: Asylum and Immobility in Britain, Denmark and Sweden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRefugees and the Violence of European Welfare Bureaucracies
Publisher or commissioning bodyManchester University Press
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Oct 2019


How borders are enacted is ever shifting. The externalisation of controls through physical barriers – walls, wires and border policing – is increasingly supplemented with more banal and bureaucratic internal constrictions which work to encourage immigrants to leave. Detention, degradation and destitution have become the modus operandi for facilitating the removal of unwanted migrant bodies.

In this chapter I will address ways in which such controls have been implemented and expanded upon for people seeking asylum in three Northern European countries. Drawing from interviews, oral histories and participant reflection, I focus on external and internal border controls executed in Britain, Denmark and Sweden. I argue that although there are similarities, each country uses strategies differently, particularly since the increase in immigration to Europe since 2015. In any case, the tactics used are aimed at deterring and deporting migrant bodies but - during the temporal limbo in which people seeking asylum specifically experience – the harms inflicted in the process are often long-lasting, but deliberate and avoidable.

    Research areas

  • borders, immigration, NORTHERN EUROPE, Harm, Detention



View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups