Relational enforcement: The family and the expanding scope of border enforcement

Kate Coddington, Jill M. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Scholars have increasingly focused on the role of the family within border enforcement practices. In this paper, we build on and extend these research efforts to propose a research agenda driven by a new understanding of the relationship between families and immigration enforcement. Drawing on examinations of emerging enforcement strategies, including family separation and public information campaigns, we suggest that the family as a social unit and set of relationships is increasingly targeted within the regulation of transnational migration, what we term “relational enforcement.” Greater attention to relational enforcement tactics, processes, and impacts helps to frame geographies of border enforcement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-604
Number of pages15
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • border enforcement
  • family
  • migration
  • public information campaigns
  • relational

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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