Dispersal: a barrier to integration? : the UK dispersal policy for asylum seekers and refugees since 1999 : the case of Iraqi Kurds
Mallinson, Saran Michelle (2006) Dispersal: a barrier to integration? : the UK dispersal policy for asylum seekers and refugees since 1999 : the case of Iraqi Kurds. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b2157977~S9
The large rise in the number of asylum seekers coming to Britain in the 1990s and since then has made asylum policy and associated matters an increasingly important issue for the government. On the one hand, the government has wished to deter asylum seekers but on the other, it recognises the importance of integrating those who are given permission to settle. Issues surrounding asylum seekers have become highly political as the media, local authorities and local people have all become involved in trying to influence the content and delivery of asylum policy. This thesis focuses on the effect of the current dispersal policy on asylum seeker and refugee integration. In this piece of research, an asylum seeker is an individual who reaches the UK through his/her own means and submits a request for asylum to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) at the Home Office. Asylum seekers who are granted permission to reside in the UK are defined as refugees in this thesis, whether they be Convention refugees or individuals possessing Humanitarian Protection (HP) or Discretionary Leave (DL). This study uses the approach to integration developed by Ager and Strang (2004a) and in particular their four main components of asylum seeker and refugee integration. My major hypothesis is that dispersal exercises a negative impact on the four dimensions of integration studied because this policy sends asylum seekers to localities where there are no settled co-ethnics, hostile host-community members, limited employment opportunities and inadequate dwellings.
In order to test this hypothesis, I compare the significantly different integration opportunities encountered by asylum seekers and refugees in two contrasting dispersal cities, Newcastle and Birmingham. Given the national, ethnic and socio-economic heterogeneity of the group under study, I also adopt a case study approach and focus on the experiences of Kurds from Iraq. Significantly, asylum seekers and refugees possess different rights and for this reason, their experiences of dispersal and integration are analyzed separately.
I chose semi-structured interviewing with asylum seekers and refugees because this method reflects my structured research strategy as well as my commitment to remain alert to unexpected findings. Furthermore, this technique helps the researcher appreciate the standpoint of the group studied, an important objective in my study. The in-depth nature of the qualitative data produced also assists with the understanding of the complex processes tied to the effect of the dispersal policy on integration. A non-probability sampling technique, snowball sampling, customarily used when a population is elusive, was employed to select the sample of asylum seekers and refugees. Semi-structured interviews were also carried out with national policy-makers and local service providers as well as Kurdish community workers and businessmen. These interviews helped the researcher understand the standpoints of central and local government, the voluntary and private sector as well as the perspective of influential Iraqi Kurds.
The findings suggest that asylum seekers and refugees' experiences of dispersal and their process of integrating into UK society are not necessarily contradictory phenomena. In fact, in some instances, the dispersal policy has introduced members of this group to better integration opportunities than they would otherwise have encountered in their voluntarily chosen, traditional areas of concentration, in London and the South East of England. The conclusions also highlight several gaps in Ager and Strang's (2004a) integration framework, namely the absence of an intra-national spatial dimension, the failure to incorporate the ambivalent, non-linear effect of the passage of time and finally, the lack of reference to the idea that success in one sub-area of integration can reduce progress in another.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Kurds -- Migrations, Ethnology -- Great Britain, Social integration -- Great Britain, Great Britain -- Emigration and immigration -- Government policy|
|Official Date:||December 2006|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations (Economic and Social Research Council)|
|Sponsors:||Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)|
|Format of File:|
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