Privatizing the borders: Human rights and the British visa regime (Respond to this article at


  • Deema Kaneff

    1. The author is Reader in Social Anthropology at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham. She has carried out long-term fieldwork in Bulgaria and Ukraine and published widely on the anthropology of postsocialism. Her most recent book publication is a co-edited work titled Global connections and emerging inequalities in Europe (London: Anthem Press 2011). Her email is
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This paper explores the ‘strengthening’ of UK borders through the privatisation of border controls. It looks at the consequences of shifting activities relating to the management of visa applications from the state to the private sector (transnational corporations), and explores the implications this has in terms of human rights and entitlements.