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About the event

Over the last decade there has been a prodigious rise in the use of deportation – the enforced and authorised removal of non-citizens from state territory – by Western countries as a way of dealing with failed asylum-seekers, unlawful migrants, criminals, and suspected terrorists. We have secured a John Fell grant in order to develop a proposal to consider the broader social and political effects of this recent turn to deportation. Our aim, in particular, is to explore the ways in which the rise of deportation reflects and generates changes in conceptions of membership in liberal states.

Much work on membership examines the rules and processes by which foreigners gain citizenship in liberal democratic societies (Lister 1997; Brubaker 1992; Castles & Davidson 2000). We believe, however, that by examining the processes through which rights of residence are lost,new light can be shed on how membership is in a process of transition.  The results of our work are likely to have implications for understanding for the terms on which immigrants are expected to integrate into Western societies and the shifting dynamics of citizenship for all residents. 

While our research proposal is driven by some pressing contemporary issues, this workshop, financed by the John Fell/OUP Fund, is intended to open up a more general and wide-ranging discussion amongst our Oxford colleagues about the uses, meaning and significance of expulsion from different disciplinary and historical perspectives. Deportation, and its cognate practices, like exile, banishment and expulsion, have a long history and have been used in different ways by political communities in different periods.

The use, meaning and consequences of these practices raise important questions for scholars from a range of different perspectives, many of whom are not directly interested in migration control. These questions touch upon issues of exile, citizenship, the construction of the stranger or foreigner (whether within or without the state), and the formation and reproduction of collective identities over time.

The part day workshop:

  1. Enabled participants to consider the relevance of their research to a contemporary issue of pressing political and human importance
  2. Explored the possibility of generating new research agendas across traditional disciplinary divides
  3. Led to the sharing of approaches and findings to gain a better insight into questions surrounding the ways in which expulsion helps create and reproduce collective identities over time

This workshop anticipated a (more inclusive) international conference on “Deportation and Citizenship” which was held in Oxford in October 2009.


Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

The Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture is held in Trinity term. It is named after Professor Elizabeth Colson, a renowned anthropologist.

Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture

The Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture is named in honour of Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, the founding Director of the Refugee Studies Centre. It is held each year in Michaelmas term.

Public Seminar Series

Each term the RSC holds a series of public seminars, held on Wednesday evenings at Queen Elizabeth House. Click here for details of forthcoming seminars.

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Forthcoming events

Book launch: The Politics of Crisis-Making: Forced Displacement and Cultures of Assistance in Lebanon

Wednesday, 29 May 2024, 5pm to 6pm @ Seminar Room 1, Queen Elizabeth House, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB

Skilled worker visas for refugees – a qualitative evaluation of the UK’s Displaced Talent Mobility Pilot

Wednesday, 05 June 2024, 5pm to 6pm @ Seminar Room 1, Queen Elizabeth House, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB

A celebration of the life of David Turton

Saturday, 20 July 2024, 2pm to 3pm @ The Crypt Cafe, St Peters Church, Northchurch Terrace, London N1 4DA