This research looks at the role of emotions in the age of populist politics, and we asked the questions: Whose emotions are prioritised and whose emotions are marginalised and silenced? This is important as whose emotions are considered to matter in politics is closely related to whose security matters.
This research takes the case of detention Britain. While detention has become a common practice in the past twenty years, there are no tangible benefits and it is very expensive. Additionally, detention has faced a lot of criticism and most of the detainees are actually released back into society – so it appears there is no reason. Within this context, this research asks therefore this research questions why the British government are continuing this practice? There is no rational reason.
Therefore this research argues that detention is a performance. The government use it as a tool to help ease the fears and anxieties of anti-immigrant and populist feelings – meaning the government are prioritising the emotions and security of anti-immigration groups over detainees, and at the expense of the detainees security.
This paper shows the human cost of this inefficient policy. It found that by marginalising the detainees emotions and making them endure the detention experience, any positive perception of Britain is completely shattered.
In one interview a former detainee said that they felt British before detention, and when asked if they felt British following release from detention, their answer was ‘no, I don’t feel British anymore’. So just by detaining this person, their connection and relationship to British society was cut, making integration harder, and undermining current practice. Detention is therefore a counterproductive policy.