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    The permission to be cruel: street level bureaucrats and harms against people seeking asylum

    Bhatia, Monish (2020) The permission to be cruel: street level bureaucrats and harms against people seeking asylum. Critical Criminology 28 , pp. 277-292. ISSN 1205-8629.

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    Immigration and asylum policies and practices in Britain have increasingly turned hostile. People seeking asylum are exposed to a panoply of control measures and rendered vulnerable. The state has exteriorized its controls and drawn-in various actors and agencies who now enact state power in the control of migration. This article moves away from essentialist notions of the state and uncovers the role of what Lipsky (2010) calls “street level bureaucrats.” It shows the ways in which actors and agencies enact state power and inflict cruelty on asylum seekers through their strategic actions and inactions. Drawing on data from ethnographic research, the article demonstrates how bureaucratic practices create and exacerbate psychological distresses amongst asylum seekers and pushes them into dangerous and potentially life-threatening situations. By doing so, it makes a substantive contribution to the literature on migration, state racism and violence.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Monish Bhatia
    Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 15:34
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:54


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