Criminals/Refugees in the Age of Welfareless States: Zygmunt Bauman on Ethnicity, Asylum and the new ‘Criminal’

Reza Barmaki

Abstract


Refugees have become a hotly debated political issue in the West. Adverse effects of globalization on European labor markets, the greater availability of ethnic minorities in this region, and fear of crime and terrorism, have made these groups convenient targets for waves of hate crimes, governmental escapegoating, and media-driven demonization since the end of the 1980s. Western governments are increasingly determined to restrict influx of refugees. They have been increasingly abandoning their liberal values and have been governing their population through politics of fear of crime and insecurity. Refugees are subject to increasing harassment, hatred, detention, discrimination, criminalization, and transfer to remote and dangerous places. Changing forms of displacement, racism and criminalization of refugees have increasingly become the focal points of Zygmunt Bauman’s work. This paper discusses Bauman’s views on criminalization of refugees. It will discuss the social processes that Bauman believes create and sustain it. I believe that Bauman’s conducive to a richer and a more coherent understanding of the new processes that create refugees.

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International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory | ISSN : 1916-2782