Suspect technologies: forensic testing of asylum seekers at the UK border

Richard Tutton, Christine Hauskeller, Steven Sturdy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The entanglement of border control technologies and immigration policies and
practices with discourses of race, national identity and belonging has long been a focus of scholarly interest. In this paper we discuss the Human Provenance Pilot Project (HPPP), the aim of which was to evaluate the utility of genetic and isotope testing to corroborate asylum seekers’ accounts of their nationality. We subject the HPPP to a detailed socio-technical analysis, highlighting how technologies, practices and modes of thought travelled from the policing context to the asylum context, illuminating the unspoken prejudices that made that transfer possible, and reflecting on implications of the HPPP for academic research, policy advice and the asylum system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-752
Number of pages15
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number5
Early online date18 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • border control
  • isotope testing
  • genetics
  • science
  • asylum
  • forensics


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