This virtual special issue of History Workshop Journal tells the histories of states in their interlocking national, international, local, and archival dimensions, and as political and legal contestations of sovereign power.
What is friendship worth, how might it be valued, and could it count in the context of immigration control? How might valuing friendship contribute to a wider critique of ‘the family’? And how might an appreciation of intimacy, friendship and care beyond the nuclear family provide a challenge to the ‘blood and soil’ thinking of race and nation?
The Stansted 15, peaceful protesters who grounded a deportation charter flight have been convicted of terror-related charges. This disproportionate response by the British state must be situated within a wave of criminalisation and delegitimisation of migrant solidarity across Europe at a time of great political and economic unease.
In light of the recent “Windrush scandal”, Kennetta Hammond Perry asks what aspects of British history are extolled, and which facets remain illegible in popular renditions of the Windrush narrative – and offers up alternative “usable pasts” to understand Black people’s relationship to British citizenship.
Citizenship ‘stripping’ laws have expanded the idea of a failed citizen, a boundary shaped by racialised and Islamophobic ‘moral panic’. May Robson examines what it means to be an illegal immigrant in Britain.
Eva Johanna Holmberg – a historian who studies travellers crossing borders in the seventeenth century – on being threatened with deportation as a European academic in the UK in 2017