Challenging Immigration Detention
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Challenging Immigration Detention

Academics, Activists and Policy-makers

Edited by Michael J. Flynn and Matthew B. Flynn

Immigration detention is an important global phenomenon increasingly practiced by states across the world in which human rights violations are commonplace. Challenging Immigration Detention introduces readers to various disciplines that have addressed immigration detention in recent years and how these experts have sought to challenge underlying causes and justifications for detention regimes. Contributors provide an overview of the key issues addressed in their disciplines, discuss key points of contention, and seek out linkages and interactions with experts from other fields.
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Chapter 10: Capitalism and immigration control: what political economy reveals about the global spread of detention

Matthew B. Flynn

Abstract

Political economy offers unique tools and perspectives for analysing the growth of immigration detention systems. It highlights changing economic structures, the winners and losers of policy changes and the motives of social actors involved in affecting political decisions. Ultimately, assessments of the political economy of detention point to a key challenge that is common to countries across the globe: how economic insecurities of host populations translate into xenophobia and ethno-nationalist demands for more deportations, detentions and walls. On the other hand, similar factors that have undermined the rationale for private prisons may also empower efforts to limit the growth of immigration detention—namely, the high cost in both monetary and social capital of locking up people who could otherwise be productive members of society.

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