Monday, March 9, 2009

Antje Ellermann's "States Against Migrants"

Antje Ellermann is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at The University of British Columbia.

She applied the “Page 99 Test” to her new book, States Against Migrants: Deportation in Germany and the United States, and reported the following:
Page 99 of States against Migrants, shows a bar chart that displays the deportation of various groups of migrants by German immigration authorities in the 1990s. The chart reveals a striking pattern: failed asylum seekers feature more prominently than illegal immigrants among those expelled from Germany. This pattern is remarkable for two reasons. First, it is greatly at odds from deportation trends in the United States. Second, it is an expression of the German state’s remarkable coercive capacity because it is far easier to deport illegal immigrants than failed asylum seekers.

States against Migrants: Deportation in Germany and the United States is a contemporary study of the capacity of liberal democratic states to coercively regulate individuals within their borders. In this book, I argue that deportation places extraordinarily high demands on the state. Because it imposes severe hardship on migrants and their families, and because it often involves the use of physical force, deportation is likely to induce political contestation because these state interventions run up against the most fundamental interests of the individuals they target. As a result, both the legislation and implementation of deportation present formidable challenges to the state. The book examines the politics of deportation as it evolves across the policy cycle, beginning with anti-immigrant populist backlash and ending in the expulsion of migrants by deportation bureaucrats. It reveals striking differences in the nature of state capacity not only between the United States and Germany, but also between the policy stages of legislation and implementation.
Read an excerpt from States Against Migrants, and learn more about the book at the Cambridge University Press website.

--Marshal Zeringue