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CJC directors, Ana Aliverti and Henrique Carvalho, and member, Anastasia Chamberlen, have been awarded the prestigious Leverhulme Trust’s Research Project Grant

The project titled ‘The Vulnerable State: Appraising the Ambivalent Economies of State Power’ explores the ambivalent and shifting governance of socially marginalised groups in the criminal and administrative justice domains. It hypothesises that the state’s treatment of these groups produces a dissonance between objectives of care and control, which reveals profound dilemmas in the exercise of state power in a globalised, unequal world. It empirically examines these moral and emotional dilemmas through the everyday work of frontline officers.

Methodologically, it reconceptualises the study of the state, from the bottom up. Conceptually, it advances a new theory of the state which places moral sentiments and emotions at the heart of its analysis.

It will assess the significance of acknowledging anew a humane side of the state, the resulting contradictions experienced by those who embody state authority on the ground, and the critical potential of humanitarianism for resisting punitiveness from within.

Drawing on a range of methodologies, the project will study the moral and affective economies of state power in two key institutions (criminal and administrative justice) in the governance of social marginality at the macrosocial level (through the analysis of law and policy, operational training and visual material) and microsocial level (through the analysis of institutional decision-making and practices, and individual perceptions and experiences).

The project is made of five distinct yet interconnected subprojects tracing laws and policies, and documenting the work of a range of institutional actors and agencies (the police, the prison, the immigration court, and asylum case-work and support).

Based at Warwick CJC, the research team will be formed by Aliverti, Carvalho and Chamberlen, two PhD students and a research assistant. It starts in October 2022 for four years.

New Article by CJC members Ana Aliverti, Henrique Carvalho, Anastasia Chamberlen and Máximo Sozza 'Decolonizing the Criminal Question'

CJC members Ana Aliverti, Henrique Carvalho and Anastasia Chamberlen along with Máximo Sozza, professor of Sociology of Law and Criminology and Director of the Program on Crime and Society at the National University of Litoral (Argentina) have published a new Article 'Decolonizing the Criminal Question' in Punishment and Society.

This article examines this debate surrounding the impact of colonialism in the past and present of institutions and practices of crime control, both at the central and peripheral contexts, as well as in the production of knowledge in the criminological field.

It offers a critical account of key themes and problems that emerge from the intimate relationship between colonialism and punishment that directly challenge the persistent neglect of these dimensions in mainstream criminological scholarship. The authors aim to foreground the relevance of this relationship to contemporary enquiries. They highlight that decolonization did not dismantle the colonial roots of the cultural, social and political mechanisms informing contemporary punishment. These colonial roots are still very much part of criminal justice practice and are thus also central to criminological knowledge productions.

For access to the article click here .

Fri 11 Jun 2021, 10:49 | Tags: Ana Aliverti, Anastasia Chamberlen, Henrique Carvalho

Call for Papers: Southern Perspectives on Border Control

The European Society of Criminology will be hosting an online event from 8-11 November 2021. Border Criminologies is inviting submissions for papers to organise one or two panels within this conference.

ESC Call for papers

Call for Papers - 17-18th September 2020

The CJC hosting an international conference entitled 'Decolonising Criminal Justice and Penal Power: Colonial Legacies, Contemporary Problems and Subaltern Perspectives'. We are encouraging submissions in line with the themes - please email an extended abstract of no more than 800 words to by 15th March 2020.

'Policing Foreign Nationals in the West Midlands' Impact Workshop with West Midlands Police and Immigration Enforcement (6 July 2018)

Policing Foreign Nationals in the West Midlands

On Friday 6th July 2018 Dr Ana Aliverti and Dr Alice Gerlach met with members of the West Midlands Police (WMP), Home Office’s Immigration Compliance and Enforcement team (ICE) and other stakeholders. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the findings of an evaluation of the regional joint enforcement operation between the West Midlands Police and the ICE team, ‘Operation Nexus.’ Operation Nexus is an enforcement initiative which was first rolled out in London in 2012 by the Metropolitan Police and has now been expanded nationwide. Nexus aims to bring together operational and intelligence capabilities and resources in the police and immigration services to deal effectively with offending by foreigners, reduce costs involved in pursuing them through the criminal justice system, and enhance public security.

The research project received funding from the University of Warwick’s Impact Fund and aims to influence the processes and practices of Operation Nexus and shape the public debate on this aspect of policing at the regional level. More specifically, the evaluation aimed to answer the following:

1) How does interagency cooperation between the WMP and ICE work in practice? 2) How are the identity and nationality of individuals arrested determined?

3) What are the considerations taken into account by police officers when making a decision on cases involving FN suspects?

4) Are the vulnerabilities of FN individuals brought into custody appropriately identified and handled?

Dr Ana Aliverti used a mixed method design which combined the analysis of custody data (on individuals arrested by the WMP between 1 January and 31 December 2017), ethnographic observations of custody processes, and semi-structured interviews. Observations were conducted by a researcher between 1 September and 15 December 2017 in the two custody superblocks (Perry Barr and Oldbury). An additional period of observation was conducted in January and February 2016 at Steel House (Birmingham Central) and Smethick. Observations entailed the shadowing of embedded immigration officers and the observation of the custody booking, police and immigration interviews, and decision-making processes. Detailed notes were taken and transcribed for analysis. Quantitative methods were also employed by Dr Alice Gerlach, using custody record data to build a demographic profile and analysis of the population of foreign nationals held in custody during 2017.

The workshop held at the West Midlands Police’s headquarters brought together members of WMP, ICE and other stakeholders including national bodies (ACRO, Home Office), and members of other police forces who are also interested in utilising academic research to help shape their Nexus policy. Discussions followed the key findings of the project. Recommendations were provided to the group by the researchers and strategies were discussed which would allow WMP and ICE to learn from the evaluation and make changes to their policies and practices as a result. The workshop was well attended and the results presented by the researchers proved insightful to the WMP and ICE, who hope to work towards fulfilling the recommendations provided in the future.

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