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Governance, Forced Migration and Welfare


Address for correspondence: Peter Dwyer, School of Sociology/Social Policy, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT. Email:


This paper explores the welfare of forced migrants (i.e. refugees, asylum-seekers, those with humanitarian leave to remain, and “failed asylum-seekers/overstayers”) at three linked levels. First, it considers the governance of forced migrants at a supranational (in this case European Union) level. Second, particularly, but not exclusively in the context of the UK, it considers the extent to which the welfare rights of forced migrants in EU member states have been subject to a process of “hollowing out” or “dispersal”. Third, utilizing data from a recently completed qualitative research project, the paper outlines the complex local systems of governance that exist in relation to the housing and social security rights of forced migrants in the UK. The consequences of these networks are highlighted.