top of page
The Deportation Regime:
Sovereignty, Space, and the Freedom of Movement
(Duke University Press,  2010)
co-edited with Nathalie Peutz

The Deportation Regime is an important and timely book, both for theory and for politics. A series of well-written case studies (from across the world) accompanied by a smart Theoretical Overview by Nicholas De Genova, the collection urges us to see the undocumented migrant/sans papiers/deportable alien/stateless citizen as paradigmatic of our time, as norm rather than exception, and thus as constitutive of sovereignty and the political today.”

         -- Charles Piot, author of

             Remotely Global: Village Modernity in West Africa



“This valuable collection of essays treating deportation as a distinct form of state social control shows convincingly that deportation demands more specific attention from social theorists. The ethnographically rich and theoretically informed essays provide fascinating case studies on the functioning of the deportation regime in different national settings.”

         -- Linda Bosniak, author of

            The Citizen and the Alien: Dilemmas of Contemporary                          Membership



[The Deportation Regime] marks an important development in the study of deportation, as well as making a significant contribution to the literatures on migration, citizenship, and sovereignty....  This collection is truly impressive. It demonstrates the importance of deportation as a mechanism for producing citizenship and alienage, nations, states, and territories in both theory and practice....  There is much to be done, and this book outlines an emerging research agenda

       -- Bridget Anderson, author of

       Doing the Dirty Work? The Global Politics of Domestic Labour                 and

        Us and Them?: The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Control



"[This volume] seeks to help us understand why 'the deportation regime' has become the dominant lens through which undocumented migration is seen....  De Genova's chapter is a masterful overview of what he defines as the 'deportation regime', and ... provides an incisive account of the intersections between debates about sovereignty, space, and freedom of movement....  

The Deportation Regime ... is a must read book."

        -- John Solomos, co-editor of

            the journal Ethnic and Racial Studies 



“[I]t is astonishing how little attention is paid by political scientists to the ways that states limit, regulate and restrict the freedom of movement of millions of people … through attempts to control borders through policies of detention and incarceration….  Thanks to Nicholas De Genova, Nathalie Peutz, and Duke University Press, social scientists now have, in The Deportation Regime, an urgently needed compendium providing copious information and analysis of deportation regimes in Europe, the Americas, North Africa, and the Middle East.…  the editors did a fabulous job of selecting fourteen extremely well-written and illuminating essays that nicely complement each other.”

        -- Jacqueline Stevens, author of

           States Without Nations: Citizenship for Mortals



*  *  *  *  *  *


2011  Bronze Award, Past Presidents' Book Awards,  Association for Borderlands Studies

Amidst proliferating spectacles of increasingly militarized border policing and the expanding purview of securitization in all aspects of travel and transit, globally, deportation has recently achieved an unprecedented prominence as a definite and increasingly pervasive convention of routine statecraft.  The persistent regulation of the elementary human freedom of movement has thus become an ever-greater preoccupation of states in the re-entrenchment of their spatial jurisdictions and their sovereign power.  Indeed, deportation seems to have become a virtually global regime. 


In pursuit of a critical comparativist study of the historical specificities of migration, citizenship, and state sovereignty on a global scale, The Deportation Regime: Sovereignty, Space, and the Freedom of Movement (Duke University Press, 2010), co-edited with Nathalie Peutz,  includes a co-authored Introduction and Nicholas De Genova’s Theoretical Overview, as well as chapters from scholars working in eleven countries.  In his Theoretical Overview to the volume, De Genova elaborates the problems of state power, sovereignty, and space which become telescoped by the practice of deportation, in relation to the freedom of movement as a figure of life itself, and of living labor as the precondition for the very possibility of human social life.  





Introduction / Nathalie Peutz and Nicholas De Genova  1


Part One: Theoretical Overview 


The Deportation Regime: Sovereignty, Space, and the Freedom of Movement

Nicholas De Genova  33


Part Two: Sovereignty and Space 


1. Deportation, Expulsion, and the International Police of Aliens

William Walters  69


2. Immigration Detention and the Territoriality of Universal Rights

Galina Cornelisse  101


3. Mapping the European Space of Circulation

Serhat Karakayali and Enrica Rigo  123


Part Three: Spaces of Deportability 


4. From Exception to Excess: Detention and Deportations across the Mediterranean Space

Rutvica Andrijasevic  147


5. Deportation in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands: Anticipation, Experience, and Memory

Victor Talavera, Guillermina Gina Núñez, and Josiah Heyman  166


6. Engulfed: Indian Guest Workers, Bahraini Citizens, and the Structural Violence of the Kafala System

Andrew M. Gardner 196


7. Deportation at the Limits of "Tolerance": The Juridical, Institutional, and Social Construction of "Illegality" in Switzerland

Hans-Rudolf Wicker  224


8. Deportation Deferred: "Illegality," Visibility, and Recognition in Contemporary Germany

Heide Castañeda  245


9. Citizens, "Real" Others, and "Other" Others: The Biopolitics of Otherness and the Deportation of Unauthorized Migrant Workers from Tel Aviv, Israel

Sarah S. Willen  262


10. Radical Deportation: Alien Tales from Lodi and San Francisco

Sunaina Maira  295


Part Four: Forced Movement 


11. Fictions of Law: The Trial of Sulaiman Oladokun, or Reading Kafka in an Immigration Court

Aashti Bhartia  329


12. Exiled by Law: Deportation and the Inviability of Life

Susan Bibler Coutin  351


13. "Criminal Alien" Deportees in Somaliland: An Ethnography of Removal

Nathalie Peutz  371


Part Five: Freedom 


14. Abject Cosmopolitanism: The Politics of Protection in the Anti-Deportation Movement

Peter Nyers  413

bottom of page