Borders and Migration

Value extraction through refugee carcerality: Data, labour and financialised accommodation

In this article, we argue that modes of labour and value extraction have been under-researched and under-theorised in critical geographical research on migration, asylum and refugee humanitarianism. We examine data production, voluntary work programmes and financialised asylum housing as key sites through which value is extracted from asylum-seekers’ unpaid and reproductive activities. We argue that specific forms of migrant carcerality are, firstly, grounded in migrants’ and asylum-seekers’ carceral conditions and exclusion from paid work. Secondly, we argue that subtle forms of coercion and conditionality at work in asylum hosting require asylum-seekers’ invisible and unpaid labour. Thirdly, we show how financialised real estate firms further capitalise on government contracts for asylum housing, rendering accommodation as another site of value extraction. We thereby expand conceptualisations of carceral economies of migration control beyond detention and confinement and elaborate the specific forms of labour and value extraction emerging from migration, asylum and refugee governance.

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Volume 41 Issue 2

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