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Title: Review of Humanitarian Refuge in the United Kingdom: Sanctuary, Asylum, and the Refugee Crisis
Authors: Howarth, A
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Politics and Policy, 2018, 46 (3)
Abstract: This article traces the United Kingdom’s tepid response to the recent refugee crisis confronting Europe today and reviews Britain’s approach to providing sanctuary from its ideological/historical origins to its policy enactments over time (1905-2016). That approach resonates with the deep tensions the issue of immigration raises within the nation state and the intense uncoupling of refuge and sanctuary from its humanitarian initiatives. We juxtapose the U.K. government’s engagement with the refugee crisis against its “tradition of humanitarianism” in which Britain has idealized itself as sanctuary to those who have fled from persecution, torture, or conflict. This historic ideal of refuge has been challenged with numerous immigration and asylum-related policies as well as increased securitization of border controls in response to the changing political context since 1905. We argue that “sanctuary” is a diminished and contentious component of its present-day humanitarianism involving increased securitization and asylum policies with stringent immigration controls. We trace the United Kingdom’s harsh and restrictive stance toward the refugee and the asylum seeker through a series of policies from the Aliens Act in 1905 to the Dubs Amendment of 2016 which seek to delegitimize refugees, enact tighter barriers to entry, and cast them as economic ‘migrants’ and as suspect figures in a post-9/11 world.
ISSN: 1555-5623
Appears in Collections:Dept of Politics, History and Law Research Papers

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