Compared with refugee or immigration policy, the historical and political analysis of deportation is poorly developed. This paper suggests some lines along which critical studies of deportation might proceed. First, it argues that we can historicize and denaturalize deportation by setting it within a wider field of political and administrative practices. This is done by comparing modern deportation practice with other historical forms of expulsion. Second, the paper interrogates the forms of governmentality which invest the practice of deportation, and asks what they might tell us about modern citizenship. It argues that deportation can be seen as one key element in the international police of aliens.