Welcome to the website for the Seeing Illegal Immigrants research project!

Our ESRC-funded project, which ran from September 2016 to September 2018, focused on the ways states have ‘seen’ unauthorized migrants in France, Germany and the UK from the late 1960s to the present day.

We aimed to assess whether public authorities maximise surveillance and control of illegal residents, or whether they prefer to cultivate a form of benign neglect or even ‘strategic ignorance’ of these groups; understand which forms of illegality states monitor, and which are left unscrutinised; and investigate the techniques states use to produce knowledge about illegal populations.

On this website, you will find a wide range of information connected to the project, including the members of our team, our work in progress and details of our public engagement events. We also maintain a blog, with all of the latest updates about the project. If you would like further details about the project, you can follow us on Twitter or contact either one of the two investigators, Christina Boswell and Emile Chabal.

This project was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council under reference ES/N011171/1.ESRC