Policy Press

Publishing with a purpose

Spreading the 'burden'?

A review of policies to disperse asylum seekers and refugees

By Vaughan Robinson, Roger Andersson and Sako Musterd

Published

30 Jul 2003

Page count

224 pages

ISBN

978-1861344175

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press
Spreading the 'burden'?

European governments are now engaging in one of the largest exercises in social engineering that the continent has seen since the Second World War. Hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers and refugees in Europe are now being denied their basic right to choose where they live and are instead being compulsorily dispersed.

Spreading the 'burden' is:

· the first book-length study of dispersal policies;

· explicitly comparative in nature and written by three national experts;

· highly topical and controversial as the review of dispersal policies is under way in many countries;

· a valuable case-study of how society deals with 'outsider' groups and space.

The book is essential reading for national and local policy makers, those interested in human rights, social policy and refugee studies, as well as human geographers and sociologists.

"The authors of this insightful book delve into asylum in a way that will appeal to many readers. This is an excellent book." Community Care

"This book is definitely a frontrunner as it sets out to dispel widespread myths fuelled by the media's hype about 'the burden' of settling and integrating refugees. The authors offer a sophisticated analysis of 'the problem of dispersal' expressed in a clear and accessible language and with a persuasive argumentation that helps to discern logic from media and politicians' misrepresentations on this highly emotional political issue." Journal of Social Policy

"This book does what it says on the cover. It will undoubtedly be of interest to a wide variety of policy people, whether they be politicians, government workers or those in the media ... most timely." Housing Studies

"... a timely publication which throws open the debate on this political placebo. Its well-researched and intelligently written critique and comparison of dispersal policies in the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom make this essential reading for policy makers ... an important publication for anyone interested in the treatment of global refugees." Journal of European Affairs

"This timely volume opens the way for debate, challenging dispersal policies while taking the policy-makers at their word." Journal of International Migration and Integration

"The authors offer a sophisticated analysis of 'the problem of dispersal' expressed in a clear and accessible language and with a persuasive argument that helps to discern logic from media and politicians' misrepresentations on this highly emotional political issue." Journal of Social Policy

"This book is well worth reading just for its up to date and comprehensive account of UK policies. To have such thorough discussions from other countries, making for easy comparisons with the UK, is a major bonus." Jamie Harding, School of the Built Environment, Northumbria University

"Dispersal policies have been a political placebo, not an effective policy. This excellent book throws open this debate. It provides a systematic analysis of the effectiveness of dispersal policies and demonstrates best and worst practice." Ceri Peach, Department of Geography, University of Oxford

Dr Vaughan Robinson is Professor in Human Geography at University of Wales, Swansea and is the Director of the Migration Unit there. He has undertaken research and written about dispersal policies since 1977 and has recently worked on a number of projects for the Home Office on this topic.

Professor Sako Musterd is Director of the Study Centre for the Metropolitan Environment at the University of Amsterdam. He is an expert in urban residential segregation and has published extensively in this field.

Roger Andersson is a Professor of Social and Economic Geography in the Institute for Housing and Urban Research at Uppsala University. He has researched the distribution of ethnic minorities and refugees in Sweden over a number of years and has written widely on this topic, as well as on immigrant integration and internal migration.

Introduction; Defining the 'problem'; Dispersal policies in the Netherlands; Dispersal policies in Sweden; Dispersal policies in the UK; What works? Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of dispersal; Redefining the 'problem' and challenging the assumptions.

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