208 pages | 13 B/W Illus.
Impoverishment and Asylum argues that a shift has taken place in recent decades from construing asylum as primarily a political and/or humanitarian phenomenon, to construing it as primarily an economic phenomenon, and that this shift has had led to the purposeful impoverishment, by the state, of people seeking asylum in the UK.
This shift has had far reaching consequences for people seeking asylum, who have been systematically impoverished as part of the effort to strip out any possibility of an economic ‘pull factor’ leading to more arrivals, but also for those administering their support system, and for civil society organisations and groups who seek to ameliorate the worst effects of the resulting asylum regimes.
This book argues that within this context asylum support policies in the UK which are meant to help and protect, in fact do serious harm to their recipients. It argues that the shift from construing asylum seekers as economically, rather than politically, motivated migrants across the West, is part of a much broader set of historical and philosophical worldviews than has previously been articulated. The book offers a rigorously researched and richly theorised analysis drawing on postcolonial and decolonial perspectives in making sense of the purposeful impoverishment by the state of a particular group of people, and why this continues to be tolerated in the fourth richest country in the world.
1. Introduction; 2. Economic Rights and Seeking Asylum; 3. Historicising and Theorising Impoverishment and Asylum; 4. Producing Slow Violence: Imagining Asylum as Economic Migration; 5. Ameliorating Slow Violence: Civil Society as Gap Filler; 6. Slow Violence: Everyday Life on Asylum Support; 7. Conclusion: Impoverishment and Asylum.