Systems of Suffering: Dispersal and the Denial of Asylum

Jonathan Darling

Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: Pluto Press

Published: 20th May '22


A rigorous examination of ‘dispersal’, which forms the basis of the government’s asylum policy

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‘Elegant and disturbing. A brilliant analysis of the cruel biopolitics of care in contemporary Britain’ – Ash Amin Of the many state-enacted cruelties to which refugees and asylum seekers are subjected, detention and deportation loom largest in popular consciousness. But there is a third practice, perpetrating a slower violence, that remains hidden: dispersal. Jonathan Darling provides the first detailed account of how dispersal – the system of accommodation and support for asylum seekers and refugees in Britain – both sustains and produces patterns of violence, suffering and social abjection. He explores the evolution of dispersal as a privatised process, from the first outsourced asylum accommodation contracts in 2012 to the renewed wave of outsourcing pursued by the Home Office today. Drawing on six years of research into Britain’s dispersal system, and foregrounding the voices and experiences of refugees and asylum seekers, Darling argues that dispersal has played a central role in the erasure of asylum from public concern. Systems of Suffering is a vital tool in the arsenal of those fighting to hold the government to account for the violence of its asylum policy and practice.

Additional information

Dimensions 17 × 140 × 216 mm
Page Count 256