cfp: No borders? Exclusion, justice and the politics of fear

39th Annual Conference of the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control

3rd Р7th September 2011, Universit̩ de Savoie, Chamb̩ry, France


It is often asserted that neoliberal globalisation had the liberating effect of breaking down boundaries as barriers to free trade were swept away. Yet, ‘actually existing neoliberalism’ (Brenner and Theodore, 2002) has in reality seen the erection of a host of new boundaries and the reinforcement of old ones. Boundaries continue to be a salient feature of the contemporary political, geographical and social landscape. National boundaries have been reinforced, particularly in the European security state as ever-stricter immigration controls are adopted.

Boundaries are also being redrawn between those considered to be ‘deserving’ of citizenship and those who are not, leading to the reinforcement of class distinctions and the persecution of minority groups.  As Jock Young asserted in 1999, there has indeed been a distinct move towards an ‘exclusive society’ in which divisions are actively promoted and exploited by politicians seeking short-term electoral gain. The aim of this conference will be to challenge the politics of fear and to move beyond boundaries of all kinds. How can we transcend traditional academic boundaries in favour of an interdisciplinary approach to problems of crime and punishment capable of encapsulating notions of social harm? How solid are the boundaries which exist between the ‘deviant’ and the ‘normal’? How can we promote freedom of movement of peoples across physical and metaphysical boundaries? How can justice be promoted in an exclusive society?

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