2010 volume 28(6) pages 1071 – 1083
doi:10.1068/d13908

Cite as:
Vaughan-Williams N, 2010, "The UK border security continuum: virtual biopolitics and the simulation of the sovereign ban
" Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 28(6) 1071 – 1083
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The UK border security continuum: virtual biopolitics and the simulation of the sovereign ban

Nick Vaughan-Williams

Received 3 November 2008; in revised form 21 October 2009; published online 26 April 2010

Abstract. This paper analyses the emergence of the UK’s new border security doctrine. It argues that the vision of the UK border being put forward is not one that corresponds to conventional understandings of what and where borders are in contemporary political life. Rather, the UK border is increasingly projected overseas and across UK territory, ever more invisible, electronic, and mobile through the use of sophisticated identity management technologies and is based on principles of preemption. In search of critical resources appropriate to the analysis of these practices, I draw on the work of Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, and Jean Baudrillard and argue that the UK case is symptomatic of broader attempts to simulate the effect of security in the West.

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