1st Edition

The Discourse of Repatriation in Britain, 1845-2016 A Political and Social History

By Daniel Renshaw Copyright 2021
    250 Pages
    by Routledge

    250 Pages
    by Routledge

    Examining responses to migration and settlement in Britain from the Irish Famine up to Brexit, The Discourse of Repatriation looks at how concepts of removal evolved in this period, and the varied protagonists who have articulated these ideas in different contexts.

    Analysing the relationship between discourse and action, Renshaw explores how ideas and language originating on the peripheries of debate on migration and belonging can permeate the mainstream and transform both discussion and policy. The book sheds light both on how the migrant ‘other’ has been viewed in Britain, historically and contemporaneously, and more broadly how the relationship between state, press, and populace has developed from the early Victorian period onwards. It identifies key junctures where the concept of the removal of ‘othered’ groups has crossed over from the rhetorical to the actual, and considers why this was the case. Based on extensive original archival research, the book reassesses modern British history through the lens of the most polarised attitudes to immigration and demographic change.

    This book will be of use to readers with an interest in migration, diaspora, the development of populism and political extremes, and more broadly the history of modern Britain.

     1 ‘Are there no means by which we can get rid of this intolerable nuisance?’, Paupers and Exiles, 1845–1881 12

    2 ‘And if found in the land one hour later …’, Expelling the Alien, 1881–1914 50

    3 ‘… they are persons whom it is undesirable to retain in this country’, War, Unrest, and Fascism, 1914–1945 101

    4 ‘Who goes home?’, repatriation in the post-war era, 1945–2016 146

    Conclusion 204


    Daniel Renshaw is Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Reading, UK. His work examines migration, diaspora and prejudice in Britain and Europe. He is the author of Socialism and the Diasporic ‘Other’, published in 2018.