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Conceptualizing detention: Mobility, containment, bordering, and exclusion

Mountz, A.; Coddington, K.; Loyd, J.; Catania, R.T.

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A. Mountz

K. Coddington

J. Loyd

R.T. Catania


Detention is a pressing empirical, conceptual, and political issue. Detained populations, detention facilities, and industries have expanded globally. Detention is also a fundamentally geographical topic, yet largely overlooked by geographers. We argue that detention be conceptualized as a series of geographical processes. Operating through these processes are contradictory sets of temporal and spatial logics that structure the seemingly paradoxical geographies underpinning detention. These logics include containment and mobility, bordering and exclusion. We trace these logics through an emergent literature, synthesizing and analyzing important geographic themes in the field. We identify contributions by and new avenues of inquiry for geographers.


Mountz, A., Coddington, K., Loyd, J., & Catania, R. (2012). Conceptualizing detention: Mobility, containment, bordering, and exclusion. Progress in Human Geography, 37(4), 522-541.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 27, 2015
Publication Date Aug 1, 2012
Deposit Date May 27, 2015
Publicly Available Date Mar 14, 2016
Journal Progress in Human Geography
Print ISSN 0309-1325
Electronic ISSN 1477-0288
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 37
Issue 4
Pages 522-541


Accepted Journal Article (531 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Mountz, A. and Coddington, K. and Loyd, J. and Catania, R. T. (2012) 'Conceptualizing detention : mobility, containment, bordering, and exclusion.', Progress in human geography., 37 (4). pp. 522-541. Copyright © 2012 The Author(s). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.

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