by Steve Cohen - £19.99 Trentham Books (2006)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781858563749 | ISBN 10: 1858563747
The state is always in a sense authoritarian - it is just that the forms of authority change. But since New Labour came to power in 1997 the state apparatus has been significantly strengthened. Identity cards, the so-called anti-terrorist legislation and the development of Anti Social Behaviour Orders as a form of social control are all manifestations of the move to a strong state. And this has been accompanied by a plethora of further immigration restrictions - of which the 2005 Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill is the latest instance.
Steve Cohen argues that there is a linear ideological and political connection between a century of immigration controls and the formation of the Blairite strong state, and that the popular acceptance of the brutality and repression of immigration controls has been part of the softening up process that enables other authoritarian legislation to be enacted. But he goes beyond this equation to draw another: between immigration controls and fascistic activity. He shows how immigration controls are unique in that at two critical periods (controls against Jews and then against black people) it was organised fascism that forced the law into being.
New pieces are interspersed with a few old - and hard to find - essays. Together they offer a critical examination of the history, law and politics of immigration controls - including resistance to controls - in the UK and internationally today.
Steve Cohen is an immigration lawyer and a long time activist against immigration control. This worthy successor to his acclaimed No One is Illegal is essential reading for lawyers and others working in immigration.
(Price & availability last checked: December 2018)
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In booklists: Anti-Fascism and the Far Right, Immigration, Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Civil Liberties & Rights, In categories: Politics & Philosophy, Anti-Racism, Society, Welfare, Justice & the State, Peace & Human Rights, Black, Asian & Other Diasporas,