Biopolitics and Movement: A History of Travellers and the Law
- Matthew Stone
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This article will briefly trace the travellers’ legal position in Britain from their sixteenth century emergence as a tangible (although imprecise) identity until now. It will be argued that although the position of the law has changed considerably in its waning severity, travellers’ legal status continues to be conditioned by enduring and shifting concerns around norms of labour and residence. Moreover, it is overly-simplistic to interpret their changing predicament as simply a more humane and multicultural relaxation of previously Draconian measures. Using Michel Foucault’s writings on discipline and ‘biopolitics’, it will be proposed that those extreme legal sanctions—which during certain periods included the death penalty—have been replaced by a much more nuanced matrix of regulation and control that seeks to assimilate traveller lifestyles into a mainstream understanding of human life and society.
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- Biopolitics and Movement: A History of Travellers and the Law
Liverpool Law Review
Volume 32, Issue 1 , pp 49-63
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- Vagrancy acts
- Planning law
- Historical context
- Industry Sectors
- Matthew Stone (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Faculty of Law, Governance and International Relations, London Metropolitan University, 16 Goulston Street, London, E1 7TP, UK