The book is distinctive in combining theoretical discussion on the role of networks, resources and social capital with fieldwork evidence and interviews with members of RCOs, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and statutory authorities. It critically examines the impact of dispersal and current legislative change on refugee communities and RCOs; explores the integrative role of RCOs; assesses the race relations framework in Britain and its effects on refugee organisations and provides a thorough and up-to-date literature review.
Refugee community organisations and dispersal is essential reading for practitioners and policy makers, academics, researchers and students of social policy, social geography, sociology and politics. Members of NGOs working with refugees or in local government, community workers and members of refugee communities themselves will also be keenly interested in the book. Comparative issues raised by the research will be of direct interest to readers in other countries.
This chapter reviews the theoretical questions that inform the analysis of refugee community organisations. The areas it covers include the literature on migrant organisations, the relevant research on social networks and social capital, and the integrative role of RCOs. A critique of the literature and a proposal of alternative perspectives and questions that relate to the role of RCOs are also included.
This chapter is composed of a brief overview of the dispersal framework for asylum seekers, which was introduced under the 1999 Immigration and Asylum Act. The central model in the discussion is the partnership model, which informs the reception and settlement of asylum seekers and refugees. The chapter shows that the current national refugee-integration strategy is unique in being based upon the new dispersal arrangements for the reception of asylum seekers in the regions.
This chapter presents an outline of the methodological underpinnings of the fieldwork, and is focused on the position of RCOs in London. It examines the effects of dispersal on RCOs in the regions and raises a range of more-general theoretical issues. The chapter also reveals that the London settlement experience predates and provides a background to the dispersal process.
This chapter provides an outline of the institutional and policy framework in the regions. It starts by contrasting the socioeconomic characteristics of the West Midlands and the North West. The chapter then examines the structure of the consortia and the current integration arrangements for refugees in the regions. The strategy, policy, and practice of the local authorities in coping with new arrivals and the more recently settled communities are then reviewed.
This chapter uses the fieldwork that was conducted with RCOs in the West Midlands and the North West in its discussion. It examines Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool. The chapter first presents an analysis of the number and structure of RCOs in the regions, and then discusses the principal themes that are covered in the interviews. A comparison of these regions is then provided.
This chapter addresses the broader institutional and policy context that is affecting the development of refugee community organisations. It presents a summary of the theoretical questions, which are discussed in Chapter Two as well. The chapter also has a short summary of the contents of the following chapters.
This chapter compares and contrasts the experiences of RCOs in London and two regions outside of it. It first reviews the contrasting institutional frameworks in the two dispersal regions outside London. The chapter then discusses the comparative development of refugee communities and RCOs in London and the regions. Some principal themes – particularly the social issues and organisational issues affecting the RCOs – are examined as well.
This chapter addresses the themes that are raised in the fieldwork chapters and views them from a more theoretical perspective. It focuses mostly on the institutional constraints and opportunities for mobilisation that affect refugee communities. The chapter discusses the role of networks, resources, and social capital in the creation of refugee organisations. It also looks at the broader issue of refugee settlement and social cohesion in the UK.