Forced migration and anticolonial geographies of regrounding: an ethnography of the voluntary and community sector in north east England

Meziant, Kahina (2023) Forced migration and anticolonial geographies of regrounding: an ethnography of the voluntary and community sector in north east England. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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The moral panic of 21st century discourses on migration serve to justify increasingly dehumanising treatments for ecosystem, the framing of a certain kind migration as threat is premised on the so-called natural continuity between territory, national sovereignty, and citizenship. The Voluntary and Community Sector’s (VCS) response to the abject treatment of migrants has largely been forged through a humanitarian discourse, paradoxically aligning with that of the purported democratic state. The role of the VCS, especially when it is routed through the state-sanctioned model of charitable organisation, does not sufficiently challenge the nation-state’s position so as to uproot its inherent racism. This thesis builds upon the work of many scholars who have argued that the formal status of citizenship never satisfies one’s desire for belonging, especially for racialised migrants. It argues that to adequately approach contemporary migration, a dis integrative perspective is necessary. By examining three fundamental relationships at play in the framing and ways of addressing migration in the UK, I rethink the trinity ‘national belonging, integration, citizenship’ and move towards an alternative articulation of belonging that takes seriously the socio-materiality of our social worlds. The lens in this thesis therefore connects the relationships between (1) the VCS and the state; (2) integration and asylum; and as a recognition of my own intervention in these questions, between (3) participation and the researcher. Through a long-term engagement with, and exploration of, two charity organisations working with migrants in the North East of England, I critically engage with expressions of belonging that are premised on other terms than those set out in the collapse of European Empires. Those are mutual trust, common interest, decolonised attachment, and feminist material solidarity, which are defining features of what I conceptualise as ‘Regrounding’.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: citizenship, integration, nongovernmental organisations, participation, asylum system
Subjects: L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2023 08:24
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2023 08:30

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