In a Kafkaesque catacomb: the killing of Ihor Homenyuk by the Portuguese customs and immigration bureaucracy

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Abstract

Bureaucracies, especially state bureaucracies, are typified as rational-legal organizations. We study how one such bureaucracy acted as neither rational nor legal but proved to be a space of exclusion. Ihor Homenuyk, a Ukrainian citizen, was ‘retained’ and then killed by the Portuguese foreigners and borders service. Police abuse has been much in the news in recent times, as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement. The issues are wider than those of racial injustice, however; they go to the nub of what it means to protect both the citizen and the honour of these organizations that engage with them in a way that is required to be legally rational. We use the case to open the black box of abuse and advance an explanation of how vicious dynamics happen.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Political Power
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Bureaucracy
  • bureaucracy ethics
  • Kafkaesque organizations
  • legitimacy
  • police abuse
  • space of exclusion and exception

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