Bhatia, Monish (2014) Resisting ‘bare-life’? Impacts of policies and procedures on asylum seekers and ‘illegal’ migrants. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The aim of this research is to examine the impact of UKs immigration policies and procedures on asylum seekers and ‘illegal’ migrants. The study investigates the ways in which ‘risks’ have been proffered as a justification to contain and control this group of individuals. Those claiming asylum are increasingly subjected to a complex set of rules and legislation, and their access to the welfare state and labour market is severely restricted, if not completely denied. Individuals are increasingly pushed into a bureaucratic limbo in which they are rendered destitute and stateless. This Thesis draws upon asylum seekers’ and ‘illegal’ migrants’ experiences of living in this empty space and shows the ways in which they have used their agency to ‘resist’ and overcome the controls that render them as ‘bare-life’. The study employs a qualitative methodology which includes in-depth interviews with twenty two asylum seekers and six specialist practitioners. The conclusion reveals a constant struggle against the status quo and dissent against abusive state power.

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