Speaking Truths to Power: Police Ethnography and Police Reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina J. Blaustein. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2015) 241pp. £65.00hb ISBN 9780198723295

Publication Date01 March 2017
AuthorMauricio Stegemann Dieter
The Howard Journal Vol56 No 1. March 2017 DOI: 10.1111/hojo.12196
ISSN 2059-1098, pp. 125–134
Book Reviews
Enduring Uncertainty: Deportation, Punishment and Everyday Life I. Hasselberg. New York:
Berghahn (2016) 186pp. £28.00hb ISBN 978-1-78533-022-3
In 2006, the then Labour Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, was sacked after it emerged
that over the course of seven years, over a thousand released foreign national prisoners
had not been considered for deportation. Following the media revelations, the deporta-
tion of foreign national offenders became top priority for the Home Office. Under the
UK Borders Act 2007, therefore, a foreign national will be served with an automatic
deportation order if they have been sentenced to twelve months or more of impris-
onment. The serving of an automatic deportation order, however, rarely results in its
swift execution. As Ines Hasselberg asserts in this book, deportation can be delayed
for a long period of time due to legal and human rights constraints, immigration ap-
peals, and lack of co-operation with receiving states. While most studies on deportation
follow the trajectories of those displaced, Hasselberg’s work focuses on those stuck in
a ‘legal limbo’ as they fight for their right to family life and access to the place they
call ‘home’. In a move which deserves great credit, Hasselberg also pays particular at-
tention to the family members of those marked for deportation. Not only are family
members also forced to endure the same uncertainty but, as Hasselberg demonstrates,
their testimonies and actions are crucial for the success of foreign national offenders’
In providing insights ‘into how deportation and deportability translate into social
reality and how it impacts upon the lives of those whom it affects the most’, the book
takes shape within the already existing scholarship on detention, deportability, and the
securitisation of borders (p.145). In particular, the book follows the argument that re-
searchers should focus more on the legal production of deportability and illegality,rather
than solely on the illegal migrant (De Genova 2002). Following a particularly thought-
provoking ethics section, the first main chapter of the book lays down the theoretical
groundwork needed for understanding deportation not as a singular event but as both
a process and ‘a practice of state power embedded in anxiety, uncertainty and unrest’
(p.40). This is followed by a concise examination of the recent socio-political develop-
ments that have led to the increased deportability of foreign national offenders in the
UK. These developments, as noted by Hasselberg, include New Labour’s use of ‘bogus’
refugee rhetoric to enforce harsher detention and deportation methods, the above-
mentioned media crisis in 2006, and the increased co-operation between the UK Border
Agency (UKBA) and Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS) in the management of foreign
national prisoners.
The following chapter,the first of four empirical chapters, focuses on foreign nation-
als’ encounters with the UK’s legal institutions, the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal
in particular. The chapter commences with a clear overview of the Immigration Ap-
peals System, through which foreign nationals must navigate in order to appeal against
their deportation decisions. In rich ethnographic detail, Hasselberg recounts the emo-
tional strain of the appeals process on both foreign nationals and their relations, as the
2017 The Howard League and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK

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