© 2017

Entrapping Asylum Seekers

Social, Legal and Economic Precariousness

  • Francesco Vecchio
  • Alison Gerard

Part of the Transnational Crime, Crime Control and Security book series (TCCCS)

About this book


This book is an interdisciplinary attempt to understand the contemporaneous human condition of asylum seekers through analysis of their entrapment and the resultant new forms of resistance that have emerged to combat it. Based on qualitative research data, the chapters support the claim that asylum seekers are entrapped in social, legal and economic precariousness amidst the complex relationship between individual agency and social structure. 

By exploring the practices and lived experiences of asylum seekers and other parties involved in their migration and reception, the authors explore the structural and individual agency factors that entrap asylum seekers in precarious livelihoods and lead to marginalization and social exclusion. A bold and timely study, this edited collection will be essential reading for academics and students of criminology, sociology, anthropology, urban studies and social policy.


asylum precarious emplyoment security policing border control Mediterranean Sea Cairo Neoliberalism refugee protests securitization humanitarianism Hong Kong US–Mexico border human smuggling entrapment litigation forced labour UK immigration policy socio-legal incarceration

Editors and affiliations

  • Francesco Vecchio
    • 1
  • Alison Gerard
    • 2
  1. 1.AnthropologyChinese University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong
  2. 2.Centre for Law and JusticeCharles Sturt UniversityBathurstAustralia

About the editors

Francesco Vecchio is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and an Adjunct Research Fellow at Charles Sturt University’s Centre for Law and Justice, Australia.

Alison Gerard is an Associate Professor in Law and Director of the Centre for Law and Justice at Charles Sturt University, Australia. 

Bibliographic information


“Those of us with an interest in border control are accustomed to reading and writing about the abuse, detention, demonization and deterrence of asylum seekers in the name of border security. But rarely do we hear about their ‘entrapment’. This collection shines a light on the multitude of ways in which asylum seekers experience ongoing precarity and criminalisation, long after they have left behind the conditions of extreme insecurity that prompted their journeys. Vecchio and Gerard have adapted the concept of entrapment in a highly original way, providing a fresh analysis that enhances our understanding of the myriad forms of social, legal and economic incarceration that operate beyond the walls of detention centres.  Entrapping Asylum Seekers makes an invaluable and novel contribution to the field, and, through its meticulous analyses of cycles of entrapment and resistance, engenders hope for a less repressive future.” (Leanne Weber, School of Social Sciences, Monash University, Australia)