Standard Article

Deportation: an overview

Migration A–Z


  1. Heike Drotbohm

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm591

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Drotbohm, H. 2013. Deportation: an overview. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


Deportation, as a practice of forced removal of unwanted individuals or groups of people from a given territory, has served throughout history as a key means of dividing insiders from outsiders, the wanted from the unwanted, the deserving from the undeserving. Just like other practices of expulsion and transfer of population groups, deportation has thus always been intrinsically tied to the establishment and preservation of boundaries of belonging and, ultimately, to the definition of citizenship. Different from exile and administrative removals, contemporary forms of deportation exclusively target noncitizens, who are returned by state force to their country of origin, some of whom – depending on the circumstances of deportation – are not eligible to re-enter the country which deported them (“ban to return”).


  • immigration;
  • criminal justice;
  • rights;
  • assimilation and exclusion;
  • social justice