Changing places: voluntary sector work with refugees and asylum seekers in core and peripheral regions of the UK

Allan Findlay, Nicholas Fyfe, Emma Stewart

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    It has been suggested that neo-liberal agendas have resulted in the emergence of a “shadow state” made up of voluntary organisations that deliver services that used to be the state’s responsibility. This paper examines this idea in the context of voluntary organisations for asylum seekers and refugees in London and more peripheral areas in the UK. The authors’ survey work confirms that the number of voluntary organisations engaging with asylum seekers and refugees in the UK has grown significantly, perhaps not surprising given the rise in the numbers of asylum seekers entering the country in the late 1990s and in early 2000. Understanding the role of these organisations, their geography and their relationship with the state is shown, however, to be more complex than proposed by the shadowstate thesis. In particular it is argued that the pattern and nature of activities of voluntary organisations is very different in London from other, more peripheral places.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)54-74
    Number of pages21
    JournalInternational Journal on Multicultural Societies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • voluntary sector
    • voluntary work
    • refugee workers
    • asylum seekers

    Cite this