We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Biometric borders : governing mobilities in the war on terror.

Amoore, L. (2006) 'Biometric borders : governing mobilities in the war on terror.', Political geography., 25 (3). pp. 336-351.


This article proposes the concept of the biometric border in order to signal a dual-faced phenomenon in the contemporary war on terror: the turn to scientific technologies and managerial expertise in the politics of border management; and the exercise of biopower such that the bodies of migrants and travellers themselves become sites of multiple encoded boundaries. Drawing on the US VISIT programme of border controls (United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology), the article proposes three central themes of the politics of the biometric border. First, the use of risk profiling as a means of governing mobility within the war on terror, segregating ‘legitimate’ mobilities such as leisure and business, from ‘illegitimate’ mobilities such as terrorism and illegal immigration. Second, the representation of biometrics and the body, such that identity is assumed to be anchored as a source of prediction and prevention. Finally, the techniques of authorization that allow the surveillance of mobility to be practiced by private security firms and homeland security citizens alike. Throughout the article, I argue that, though the biometric border is becoming an almost ubiquitous frontier in the war on terror, it also contains ambivalent, antagonistic and undecidable moments that make it contestable.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Homeland security, US VISIT, Risk.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
Publisher Web site:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:No date available
Date of first online publication:March 2006
Date first made open access:No date available

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar