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About the project
Our project studies and compares the actual implementation process of deportation regimes – which comprise deportation policies, procedures and campaigns – in various states around the world: Greece, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Israel, Indonesia and Ecuador.
The project seeks to generate fine-grained ethnographies of the everyday implementation of deportation regimes by studying two pivotal groups that shape and influence deportation practices on the ground:
(1) Street-level agents and civil servants – police agents, personnel in detention centers, officials in asylum division, etc. – who are assigned the task of locating, detaining and deporting irregular migrants;
(2) Civil-society actors – local and international NGOs, grassroots movements, religious organizations, etc. – who assume the role of representing the cause of irregular migrants, protecting their rights, assisting them and preventing their deportation.
The project contributes a crucial perspective – so far underexplored – on irregular migration: the interface of street-level state agents and civil-society actors in shaping practices of deportation.
By privileging the “meso level” of the deportation regime, the project goes beyond the dichotomist view of state and non-state actors as occupying opposing ideological stands regarding the implementation of deportation regimes. Instead, this project champions an understanding of this regime as being carried out by a continuum of actions and organizations on both sides. We pay close attention to conflicts as well as complementary practices and converging views, in exploring the dynamics of both “implementation deficits” and “implementation surpluses”.