King's College London

Research portal

A really hostile environment: adiaphorization, global policing and the crimmigration control system

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ben Bowling, Sophie Westenra

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Early online date1 Jun 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jun 2018


King's Authors


This article examines institutional practices designed to control criminalized migrants in the UK and advances three arguments. First, these practices have evolved, since the early 1970s, into a bespoke ‘crimmigration control system’ distinct from the domestic criminal justice system. Second, this system is directed exclusively at efficient exclusion and control; through a process of adiaphorization, moral objections to the creation of a ‘really hostile environment’ have been disabled. Third, the pursuit of the criminalized immigrant—a globally recognized ‘folk devil’—provides a vital link between domestic and global systems of policing, punishment and exclusion. The UK crimmigration control system is an example of wider processes that are taking place in institutions concerned with the control of suspect populations across the globe.

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454