German Return Policy and the German Deportation Regime

Workshop on the State of Research Beyond/ Behind the Public Debate

We have been experiencing constant new legislative initiatives in the field of return policy in Germany since the long summer of migration in 2015. The declared goal is to deport more and more efficiently, to take more people into deportation custody, to deport `dangerous persons´ (Gefährder) or criminals or, according to the latest declaration of the Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz in October 2023, now to deport them en masse. It is well known that deportation policies are inefficient, produce violence, suffering and resistance. While return-oriented policies fail to achieve their self-imposed goals, these debates serve to symbolize state control and sovereignty as part of a populist discourse.

But what happens behind the scenes of the public debate? How do deportation policies function in Germany? What form of governing and policing through deportations and return-oriented policies take place? Which places and which institutions are part of the deportation regime and return oriented politics? What impact do deportations have on communities and how does resistance to these policies take place?

Coinciding with the current heated debates about a new deportation offensive in Germany, the two new research projects GAPs and MORE on deportations, return and readmission policies, their externalization beyond Europe and possible alternatives are launched within the Horizon Europe program. As German cooperation partners in the two research projects GAPs and MORE, we want to map the research landscape on German return and deportation policies in this two-day workshop. Together we want to look at the actors, institutions, practices and procedures of the German deportation regime. Through the workshop we hope to create new connections among each other or to expand existing ones, we want to bring existing research into an interdisciplinary exchange, to sift through the research landscape and make it transparent, and to discuss approaches and findings together, as well as to explore gaps for further research.

The workshop will mainly take place in german with a few presentations in English.

We have a few places available for participation in the workshop in Göttingen. In addition, we offer the possibility to listen via zoom. Please register for the workshop by 15 February, stating your preferred participation option, to peer.diercks@uni-goettingen.de

You can download the programme as PDF here

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