Photo of William Walters

William Walters


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

Supervisory Areas

Political sociology; borders, migration and mobility; secrecy and security; sociologies of the public; genealogies of politics and government.


I am a Professor of Politics in the Departments of Political Science and Sociology & Anthropology and FPA Research Excellence Chair (2019-22) at Carleton. As 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 of the book series Mobility & Politics.

Recent Publications


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

Walters, W. and Haahr, J.H. 2005. Governing Europe: Discourse, Governmentality and European Integration, London: Routledge, p. 177. [Polish translation: Rządzenie Europą: Dyskurs, Urządzanie i Integracja Europejska, trans: J. Grzymski, Warsaw: Wydawnnictwo Naukowe Pwn, 2011].

Walters, W. 2000. Unemployment and Government: Genealogies of the Social, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 195.

Recent Articles, Chapters, and Posts (Selected)

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 .

Tazzioli, M. and Walters, W. 2019. ‘Migration, Solidarity and the Limits of EUrope’ , Global Discourse 9(1): 175-190. DOI: 10.1332/204378918X15453934506030.

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.

De Genova, N., Lecadet, C., and Walters, W. 2018. ‘Expulsion, pouvoir, mobilisation’, Vacarme No. 83: 15-21.

Walters, W. 2018. ‘Aviation as Deportation Infrastructure: Airports, Planes, and Expulsion’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 44(16): 2796-2817.

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.

Walters, W. 2017. ‘The Microphysics of Power Redux’, in P. Bonditti, D. Bigo and F. Gros (eds) Foucault and the Modern International, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 57-76.

Walters, W. 2017. ‘Live Governance, Borders, and the Time-Space of the Situation: EUROSUR and the Genealogy of Bordering in Europe’, Comparative European Politics 15(5): 794-617.

Walters, W. and B. Lüthi. 2016. ‘The Politics of Cramped Space: Dilemmas of Action, Containment, and Mobility’, International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 29(4): 359-366. [75%]

Tazzioli, M. and W. Walters. 2016. ‘The Sight of Migration: Governmentality, Visibility, and Europe’s Contested Borders’, Global Society 30(3): 445-464.

Salter, M. and W. Walters. 2016. ‘Bruno Latour Encounters International Relations: An Interview’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies 44(3): 524-46.

Anaïs, S. and W. Walters. 2016. ‘Hazardous Material Photography: An Interview with Paul Shambroom‘, Cultural Geographies 23(1): 159-168.

Walters, W. 2015. ‘Reflections on Migration and Governmentality‘, Movements: Journal der Kritischen Migrations- und Grenzeregimeforschung 1(1).

Walters, W. 2014. ‘Drone Strikes, Dingpolitik, and Beyond: Furthering the Debate on Materiality and Security’, Security Dialogue 45(2): 101-118.