Timespace and International Migration
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Timespace and International Migration

Edited by Elizabeth Mavroudi, Ben Page and Anastasia Christou

Furthering understanding of the temporalities and spatialities of how people move across international boundaries, this book analyses how timespace intersects with migrant journeys as an integral aspect of the rhythms of daily lives. Individual chapters engage with these concepts by analysing a broad spectrum of migrations and mobilities, from youth mobility, to refugee migration, to gentrification, to food and to the political geography of the border.
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Chapter 4: The changing politics of time in the UK’s immigration system

Melanie Griffiths


Despite a long-standing recognition of the importance of time for structuring social experience, and of the considerable variation of perceptions of time between people and across social contexts, migration scholars have long neglected the temporal dimension. This chapter addresses the neglect by examining changing temporal conditions, restrictions and opportunities embedded in British immigration regulations affecting ‘deportable’ migrants. It will argue that the immigration legislation and Ministers draw on multiple senses of time: from bureaucratic, measurable time to a phenomenological sense of lived time; a linear progressive time; monstrously circular time; and as a commodity that can be accumulated, lost and stolen. The chapter will argue that the immigration rules operate through ‘temporal governance’ evident, for example, in the numerous and complicated temporal hurdles that serve to make possible, or instantly nullify, immigration applications. It will also suggest that the importance of lived time, acknowledged through the rights to respect of one’s private and family life, is increasingly devalued and delegitimised in favour of less ‘democratically’ available considerations. Keywords: immigration regulations, deportation, bureaucratic time, lived time, temporal governance, UK

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