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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Producing urban asylum

This study will investigate the politics of urban asylum in contemporary Britain at a time of increasing pressure on asylum services and provision. In 2009, the UK Border Agency announced moves to increase the private provision of dispersal accommodation for asylum seekers and to halt contracts with local authorities. Such a move effectively ends the provision of public housing to asylum seekers in a number of British cities.

This research represents the first endeavour to examine the impacts of this policy shift. The project aims to explore how four urban authorities are responding to these changes and how subsequent negotiations between urban authorities, the UK Border Agency, private accommodation providers and asylum support groups affect the lives of those seeking sanctuary. The multi-sited research is centred upon four cities with significant dispersal numbers; Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and Sunderland. In each city a multi-method approach will involve:

  • archival and media research
  • interviews with key figures in the refugee sector and local authorities
  • a public forum for stories of asylum
  • focus groups with asylum seekers
  • observation of asylum campaigns.

The research will be disseminated widely via a series of podcasts to communicate key findings to policy, media and third sector communities. 

  • Outputs (1)