An infrastructural approach to the digital Hostile Environment

Narita, Kaelynn. 2023. An infrastructural approach to the digital Hostile Environment. Journal of Global Ethics, 19(3), pp. 294-306. ISSN 1744-9626 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article delves into the ongoing consequences of UK ‘Hostile Environment’ policies, notably the Windrush Scandal and the challenges of techno-solutionism in migration governance. There is an exploration of how borders have permeated the internal boundaries of the UK and pushed private citizens and institutions to become new border agents. In this article there is a reflection on the infrastructure that has become reinforced, made visible and technologically upholds Hostile Environment policies. This article investigates the Home Office’s new case working system, Atlas, to illuminate the intersection of border policies, technology and ethics. Through disentangling the political promises placed into the new case working system, this article argues the technological solutions to unjust policies are doomed to repeat and reinforce historic racialised practices. This article argues that technology projects in development, like Atlas, offer an opportunity to identify new private actors responsible for maintaining internal borders within the UK, private technology consultancy groups. Tracing the privatisation of border technology crystallises the new power dynamics introduced through technological projects developed to translate the goals of the Hostile Environment into operational technology used by the Home Office.

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Infrastructures; digital borders; databases; Hostile Environment; migration governance

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14 October 2023Accepted
9 November 2023Published Online

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Date Deposited:

30 Nov 2023 13:02

Last Modified:

16 May 2024 15:00

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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