Unmaking Citizens: passport removals, pre-emptive policing and the reimagining of colonial governmentalities

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With the intensifying securitisation of Western borders in the global War on Terror citizenship rights are increasingly fragile. Measures introduced by the British government to deal with the terrorist threat at home include citizenship deprivation, temporary exclusion orders as well as passport removals. Whilst citizenship deprivation has provoked critique for its potential violations of international human rights conventions on statelessness, cancellations of passports have not been subjected to the same kind of critique. Drawing on recent debates and interview data we demonstrate the alignment of citizenship deprivation and passport removals and conclude that these measures serve the same goal: of unmaking citizens. In this paper we discuss findings from novel empirical research with individuals who have been removed of their British passports to illuminate the racialised dynamics of this process and the reconfiguration of racial governmentalities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-62
Number of pages18
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2017

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© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • Citizenship
  • Coloniality
  • Islamophobia
  • Passport removals
  • Racial exclusion
  • War on terror

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