Photo of William Walters

William Walters

Professor, Department of Political Science

Degrees:BSc (London) MA (CUNY) PhD (York)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2790
Office:C673 Loeb Building

I am a Professor at Carleton University, with a cross-appointment in the Department of Political Science and the Department of Sociology/Anthropology.

s an undergraduate I trained in chemistry at Imperial College, London, before doing graduate studies in politics at City University of New York and York University, Toronto. I have published widely in the areas of political sociology, political geography, citizenship studies, security and insecurity, and Foucault studies. Broadly speaking, the method I have followed in my work is to study the objectification of human experience in specific domains – unemployment, migration, and, most recently, state secrecy. I ask what politics means in these domains, what forms it is capable of taking, and what lessons we can extrapolate from these encounters.

I am currently working on three projects: (1) a book entitled (provisionally!) Rethinking Secrecy (forthcoming with Routledge); (2) a SSHRC funded (2017-22) collaborative study of what I call air deportation which focuses on the role of civil aviation in the forced removals of foreigners and illegalized people in and from Europe; (3) a co-edited book (with Charles Heller and Lorenzo Pezzani) called Viapolitics (forthcoming with Duke University Press). I am also a co-editor (with Martin Geiger, Carleton, and Parvati Raghuram, Open University) of the book series Mobility & Politics.

For further details about my interests and publications, and to download papers, chapters, etc., go to

Selected Publications

Walters, W. 2012. Governmentality: Critical Encounters, Abingdon/New York: Routledge,  p.171. [Japanese translation with new preface: Tokyo: Getsuyosha, 2016]

Dijstelbloem, H. and Walters, W. 2019. ‘Atmospheric Border Politics: The Morphology of Border and Solidarity Practices in Europe’, Geopolitics. DOI: 10.1080/14650045.2019.1577826, pp.1-24.

Walters, W. 2019. ‘The Microphysics of Deportation. A Critical Reading of Return Flight Monitoring Reports.’ M. Hoesch and L. Laube (eds) Proceedings of the 2018 ZiF Workshop “Studying Migration Policies at the Interface between Empirical Research and Normative Analysis”, ULB Münster (, 161–185.

Walters, W. 2018. ‘Expulsion, Power, Mobilization’. Radical Philosophy Series 2 Volume 3 (December): 33-37.

Walters, W. 2018. ‘Deportation as Air Power’, Guest Blog, Border Criminologies.

Moffette, D. and Walters, W. 2018. ‘Flickering Presence: Theorizing Race and Racism in the Governmentality of Borders and Migration’, Studies in Social Justice. 12(1): 92-110.

Walters, W. and A. Luscombe. 2017. ‘Hannah Arendt and the Art of Secrecy; Or, The Fog of Cobra Mist’, International Political Sociology 11(1): 5-20.