The phrase “immigration enforcement” often calls to mind efforts to detain and deport undocumented migrants. Yet, governments increasingly employ strategies of exclusion – denying migrants access to public and private resources in the hope this will encourage them to voluntarily leave and deter future arrivals. This talk will discuss these practices as a way to improve our understanding of how state power operates in Europe today. Drawing on and developing the concept of infrastructural power, this talk examines how immigration enforcement requires both administrative coordination and linkages to social groups. Infrastructural power is particularly essential when it comes to exclusionary policies, which attempt to steer the behavior of individual human beings in decentralized, complex economies and societies. In the course of instituting these measures, state officials have augmented their capacities for overseeing non-migrants as well, so that all citizens and denizens are subject to increased supervision.
Kimberly J. Morgan is a Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University. Her work examines the politics shaping public policies in Western Europe and the United States, with particular interests in migration and social welfare. She is the author of two books, Working Mothers and the Welfare State: Religion and the Politics of Work-Family Policy in Western Europe and the United States (Stanford 2006) and The Delegated Welfare State: Medicare, Markets, and the Governance of American Social Policy (Oxford 2011), and co-editor of two volumes, the Oxford Handbook of US Social Policy (Oxford 2015) and The Many Hands of the State: Theorizing Political Authority and Social Control (Cambridge 2017).