Penal power at the border: realigning state and nation

Penal power at the border relies on coercive tools such as expulsion, eviction, criminalization, and penalization to respond to mass mobility, which is perceived to be a social threat rather than a political expression of rights. By deploying its primal power, its material and symbolic violence inve...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Theoretical criminology
Main Author: Barker, Vanessa (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2017
In:Theoretical criminology
Year: 2017, Volume: 21, Issue: 4, Pages: 441-457
Online Access: Resolving-System
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Summary:Penal power at the border relies on coercive tools such as expulsion, eviction, criminalization, and penalization to respond to mass mobility, which is perceived to be a social threat rather than a political expression of rights. By deploying its primal power, its material and symbolic violence invested in criminal justice, the state taps into unparalleled capacity to impose meaning on others, backed by the moral weight of censure and sanction. The criminalization and penalization of migrants are effective precisely because they bring moral weight to this sorting process, separating the worthy from the wrongdoer. This article develops conceptual tools to understand the structural and communicative capacities of penal power to reconstitute the nation state, to reset the national frame of reference, and reassert the state's dominion over it.
ISSN:1461-7439
DOI:10.1177/1362480617724827