Blurred lines: Detaining asylum seekers in Britain and France

Mary Bosworth, Marion Vannier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, we explore the use of immigration detention for asylum seekers in Britain and France who are awaiting removal to other European Union (EU) member states for processing under the terms of the Dublin Convention. As we will show, the emphasis on risk assessment as the grounds for detaining these people recasts humanitarian protections as security matters, effectively folding asylum seekers into a broader criminalisation of migration. A punitive response to those seeking refuge, this practice blurs the line between detention and asylum, and thereby hollows out key international human rights protections that have been central to the European project.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-68
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Sociology
Issue number1
Early online date12 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Dublin Convention
  • France
  • UK
  • asylum seekers
  • immigration detention


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