The expulsion of irregular migrants has become a political priority in many (northern) EU member states. In countries such as Germany and the Netherlands this has resulted in a rather puzzling situation in which the capacity for the administrative detention of irregular migrants is increasing, while the number of effective expulsions seems to be decreasing. In this article two theoretical perspectives are used to analyse these developments: a perspective emanating from the criminological framework of the 'new penology' and one resulting from the 'migration control literature'. These perspectives combined offer explanations for this paradoxical situation - by highlighting the importance of identification and the frustration thereof by irregular migrants and countries of origin - and for the apparent irrationality of the use of, sometimes very lengthy, administrative detention of irregular migrants.

, , , ,,
Punishment and Society
Department of Sociology

Broeders, D. (2010). Return to sender?: Administrative detention of irregular migrants in Germany and the Netherlands. Punishment and Society, 12(2), 169–186. doi:10.1177/1462474509357375