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Victoria Canning

Lecturer in Criminology and Social Policy, The Open University

I am currently researching the impacts and harms of the British asylum system on women seeking asylum in Merseyside, including the harms of immigration detention and wider forms of structural violence. Findings from this, and my previous research, will be published in a monograph in 2017. I recently received an ESRC Future Research Leader award with which I will be undertaking a two year project in Denmark, Sweden and Britain exploring women’s experiences of social harm in varying asylum systems (2016-2018).

European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control (Board Member)
Sociology of Rights Group British Sociological Association (Law, Crime and Rights conference convener)
Prisons, Punishment and Detention Working Group (Co-ordinator)
Merseyside Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (Board Member)

Recent publications

Books and Book Chapters
Canning, V. (2017) Gendered Harm and Structural Violence in the British Asylum System, Oxon: Routledge.

Canning, V. (2017) Border (Mis)Management, Ignorance and Denial, in Barton, A. and Davis, H. (eds) Agnotology, Power and Harm: the Study of Ignorance and the Criminological Imagination, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Canning, V. (2017) Delimiting Criminology at the Border: Zemiology and Harm in Asylum, in Boukli, P. and Kotze, J. (eds.) Zemiology: Reconnecting Crime and Social Harm, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Canning, V. (2017) Outpricing Sanctuary, in Cooper, V. and Whyte, D. (eds) The Violence of Austerity, London: Pluto Press.

Canning, V (ed.) (2014) Sites of Confinement: Prisons, Punishment and Detention, European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control Publishing.

Canning, V. (2011) Who’s human? Developing sociological understandings of the rights of women raped in conflict, in Hynes, P., Lamb, M., Short, D. and Waites, M. (eds.) Sociology and Human Rights London: Routledge.

Journal Articles

Canning, V. (2016) Unsilencing Sexual Torture: Responses to Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Denmark, British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 56, No. 3: 438-456.

Canning, V. (2014a) International Conflict, Sexual Violence and Asylum Policy: Merseyside as a Case Study, Critical Social Policy, February 2014, Vol. 34, Issue 1: 23-45.

Canning, V. (2014b) Women, Asylum and the Harms of Detention Criminal Justice Matters December 2014, Vol. 98.

Canning, V. (2011) Women Seeking Sanctuary: Questioning State Responses to Violence against Women in the Asylum System, Criminal Justice Matters September 2011, Vol. 85.

Canning, V. (2010) Who’s human? Developing sociological understandings of the rights of women raped in conflict, International Journal of Human Rights Vol. 14, nos 6-7, 847-862.

Wider Publications

Canning, V. (2016) The Criminalisation of Asylum, available at:

Canning, V. and Iliadou, E. (2016a) Occupying Turin: Refugees Breathe Life into Abandoned Buildings of Olympic Village, The Conversation, available at

Bhatia, M. and Canning, V. (2016b) Immigration Detention: a Tale of Two Reviews, The Institute of Race Relations, available at

Canning, V. and Bhatia, M. (2016c) Immigration Detention: What’s the Problem with Privatisation? Society Matters, available at

Canning, V. (2015a) The Asylum System, Social World Module, The Open University

Canning, V. (2015b) I Would Build… a Humane Asylum System, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, available at

Canning, V. (2014a) Violence in Britain: Behind the Wire at Immigration Removal Centres, The Conversation, available at last accessed 26/08/2014.

Canning, V. (2014b) Interview: Amnesty International Finds Global Torture ‘Flourishing’ available at May 2014.

Canning, V. (2013) Illusions of Freedom: The Paradox of Border Confinement, Oxford University Border Criminologies available last accessed 17/02/2014.

Canning, V. (2011a) Policy or Practice? Exploring Support for Conflict Rape Survivors Seeking Asylum in Merseyside, Asylum Aid: Women’s Asylum News June 2011.

Canning, V. (2011b) Transcending Conflict: Exploring Sexual Violence Support for Women Seeking Asylum in Merseyside, PhD Thesis (awarded March 2012).
Conference Participation: Selected


  • –present
    Lecturer in Criminology, Liverpool John Moores University