Bordering intimacy

Postcolonial governance and the policing of family

By Joe Turner

Bordering intimacy


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-6374-5
  • Pages: 312
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £25.00
  • Published Date: April 2022
  • BIC Category: United Kingdom, Great Britain, Society & social sciences / International relations, Society & social sciences / Sociology, Society & social sciences / Political science & theory, Politics, Sociology, Political science & theory, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Emigration & Immigration, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Marriage & Family
  • Series: Theory for a Global Age


Bordering intimacy explores the interconnected role of borders and dominant forms of family intimacy in the governance of postcolonial states. Combining a historical investigation with postcolonial, decolonial and black feminist theory, the book reveals how the border policies of the British and other European empires have been reinvented for the twenty-first century through appeals to protect and sustain 'family life' - appeals that serve to justify and obfuscate the continued organisation of racialised violence. The book examines the continuity of colonial rule in numerous areas of contemporary government, including family visa regimes, the policing of 'sham marriages', counterterror strategies, deprivation of citizenship, policing tactics and integration policy.


'Bordering intimacy is an exceptional and timely analysis that does not just intervene in debates regarding immigration and citizenship, but sets an agenda for centring the family within these and much broader sociopolitical discussions of race, Britishness and liberal humanism.'
James Trafford, Sociology

'Joe Turner's fascinating book provides a compelling and timely analysis of the relationship between familial intimacy and the historical evolution of borders in Britain.'
Sara Marino, Border Criminologies

'Turner's book is both extraordinary scholarship and an unparalleled contribution at this critical juncture. All of our lives are profoundly affected by 'family', racial logics and the conceptual, juridical and territorial "bordering" power of states. Yet understanding these in relation is a prohibitive task given the complexities of each and their dispersion in knowledge silos. Skilfully and accessibly, Turner merges disparate areas of inquiry - imperial/colonial histories, intimate "family" relations, racial states, biosecurity regimes, migration/border politics - into an unprecedented but urgently needed "conversation" that illuminates crises of personal/national/global significance.'
V. Spike Peterson, Professor of International Relations, University of Arizona


Introduction: bordering intimacy
1 Domestication
2 Making love, making empire
3 Shams
4 Monsters
5 Deprivation
6 The good migrant
7 Looking back
Conclusion: pasts and presents


Joe Turner is a Lecturer in International Politics at the University of York

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