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Security, the State, and the Citizen: The Changing Architecture of Crime Control
Unformatted Document Text:  3 bounded concept – citizenship. The British government has pledged to create a new ‘architecture of citizenship’ yet this benign language conceals more invidious consequences that it is the purpose of this article to reveal. 9 This article examines moves to mobilize citizenship in the name of security and suggests that two worrisome consequences follow. The first is the effective criminalization of immigration or what has been termed ‘crimmigration’. 10 That which was formerly termed ‘illegal immigration’ is now relabeled ‘immigration crime’ and the control of immigration is inserted into criminal justice legislation. The second, less obvious, corollary is that new developments in immigration policy seep into domestic crime control. The logic and language of immigration policy as applied to ‘non-citizens’ is mirrored in the policing and criminalization of ‘irregular citizens’ within the body politic. 11 Citizenship is asserted not only as a means of controlling immigrants and asylum seekers but also as central to the policing of those irregular citizens who, though already resident, are deemed to stand outside civil society. These twin developments make it simultaneously more difficult to attain and easier to lose full citizenship status. 12 The conditional nature of contemporary citizenship thus becomes a potent tool by which those at the margins of the political community are policed by the state. The criminalization of immigration It might appear perverse to identify citizenship as a tool of criminalization. Classical conceptions of citizenship identify it as carrying a defined body of civil, political, and social rights. And in contemporary debates about the protection of individual freedom from interference by others and by the state, citizenship has become a central motif. As a legal status citizenship accords identical rights to all and is central to the generation of political community, civic integration, and the flourishing of democracy. Citizenship on this model derives from the belief that equal treatment and social inclusion are essential prerequisites to political participation. 13 The promotion of citizenship as an integrative tool of political and social participation showed some signs of flourishing in Britain in the 1990s. The early years of New Labour policy making were characterised by an avowed commitment to social inclusion as manifest in the unfortunately titled but well intentioned ‘Social Exclusion Unit’. Compulsory citizenship classes were introduced in British secondary schools in 2002 to furnish 9 The term ‘earned citizenship’ appears throughout government policy papers, briefings, and perhaps most strikingly throughout the impact assessment on the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill. Home Office, Impact Assessment of Earned Citizenship Proposals (2009) http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/managingourborders/border-cit-imm-bill/ (last accessed 24/02/09). 10 Juliet Stumpf, The Crimmigration Crisis: Immigrants, Crime and Sovereign Power, Paper No. 2007- 2 Lewis & Clark Law School Legal Research Paper Series (2007). 11 The term ‘non-citizens’ is taken from Mary Bosworth & Mhairi Guild, Governing through Migration Control, 48 British Journal of Criminology 703, 703 (2008); and the term ‘irregular citizens’ is from Katja Franko Aas, ’Security-at-a-Distance’: Globalization and the Shifting Boundaries of Criminology, in The New Economy of Security: Contemporary Insecurities and the Pluralization of Coercive Force (Ian Loader & Sarah Percy eds., forthcoming). 12 For example, under amendments made by the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, British nationals can be deprived of their citizenship if the Secretary of State is satisfied that ‘deprivation is conducive to the public good’. This represented a toughening up of previous provisions that permitted British nationals to be deprived of their citizenship only for acts ‘seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom or an Overseas Territory’. 13 Dominique Leydet, Citizenship, in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (E. Zalta ed., 2006).

Authors: Zedner, Lucia.
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bounded  concept  – citizenship.  The  British  government  has  pledged  to  create  a  new 
‘architecture  of  citizenship’  yet  this  benign  language  conceals  more  invidious 
consequences that it is the purpose of this article to reveal.
9
 
 
This  article  examines  moves  to  mobilize  citizenship  in  the  name  of  security  and 
suggests  that  two  worrisome  consequences  follow.  The  first  is  the  effective 
criminalization  of  immigration  or  what  has  been  termed  ‘crimmigration’.
10
  That 
which  was  formerly  termed  ‘illegal  immigration’  is  now  relabeled  ‘immigration 
crime’ and the control of immigration is inserted into criminal justice legislation. The 
second, less obvious, corollary is that new developments in immigration policy seep 
into domestic crime control. The logic and language of immigration policy as applied 
to ‘non-citizens’ is mirrored in the policing and criminalization of ‘irregular citizens’ 
within  the  body  politic.
11
  Citizenship  is  asserted  not  only  as  a  means  of  controlling 
immigrants  and  asylum  seekers  but  also  as  central  to  the  policing  of  those  irregular 
citizens who, though already resident, are deemed to stand outside civil society. These 
twin  developments  make  it  simultaneously  more difficult  to attain and easier  to  lose 
full  citizenship  status.
12
  The  conditional  nature  of  contemporary  citizenship  thus 
becomes a  potent  tool  by  which  those  at  the margins  of  the  political community  are 
policed by the state.  
The criminalization of immigration  
It might appear perverse to identify citizenship as a tool of criminalization. Classical 
conceptions of citizenship identify it as carrying a defined body of civil, political, and 
social rights. And in contemporary debates about the protection of individual freedom 
from interference by others and by the state, citizenship has  become a central motif. 
As  a  legal  status  citizenship  accords  identical  rights  to  all  and  is  central  to  the 
generation  of  political  community,  civic  integration,  and  the  flourishing  of 
democracy. Citizenship on this model derives from the belief that equal treatment and 
social  inclusion  are essential  prerequisites  to  political  participation.
13
  The  promotion 
of citizenship as an integrative tool of political and social participation showed some 
signs  of  flourishing  in  Britain  in  the  1990s.  The  early  years  of  New  Labour  policy 
making were characterised by an avowed commitment to social inclusion as manifest 
in  the  unfortunately  titled  but  well  intentioned  ‘Social  Exclusion  Unit’.  Compulsory 
citizenship  classes  were  introduced  in  British  secondary  schools  in  2002  to  furnish 
                                                 
9
 The term ‘earned citizenship’ appears throughout government policy papers, briefings, and perhaps 
most strikingly throughout the impact assessment on the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill. 
Home Office, Impact Assessment of Earned Citizenship Proposals (2009) 
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/managingourborders/border-cit-imm-bill/
 
(last accessed 24/02/09). 
10
 Juliet Stumpf, The Crimmigration Crisis: Immigrants, Crime and Sovereign Power, Paper No. 2007-
2 Lewis & Clark Law School Legal Research Paper Series (2007). 
11
 The term ‘non-citizens’ is taken from Mary Bosworth & Mhairi Guild, Governing through Migration 
Control, 48 British Journal of Criminology 703, 703 (2008); and the term ‘irregular citizens’ is from 
Katja Franko Aas, ’Security-at-a-Distance’: Globalization and the Shifting Boundaries of Criminology, 
in The New Economy of Security: Contemporary Insecurities and the Pluralization of Coercive Force 
(Ian Loader & Sarah Percy eds., forthcoming). 
12
 For example, under amendments made by the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, 
British nationals can be deprived of their citizenship if the Secretary of State is satisfied that 
‘deprivation is conducive to the public good’. This represented a toughening up of previous provisions 
that permitted British nationals to be deprived of their citizenship only for acts ‘seriously prejudicial to 
the vital interests of the United Kingdom or an Overseas Territory’. 
13
 Dominique Leydet, Citizenship, in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (E. Zalta ed., 2006). 


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