Theses Master's

Preventative or Performative? Assessing the Role and Intention of the UK’s ‘Hostile Environment’ Since 2010

Weisz, Adam

Since coming to power in 2010, the Conservative Party in the UK has been pursuing increasingly harsh policies tackling undocumented migration that have come to be collectively known as the ‘hostile environment.’ These policies seek to make life difficult for anyone living in the UK without regular status, by requiring documentation checks when accessing services such as healthcare, housing, employment, and so forth. The stated goal of the policies is both to encourage undocumented migrants present in the UK to leave, and to deter potential migrants from entering in the first place. By examining the manner in which such policies were designed and implemented, and critiquing the degree to which they were executed in a well-planned and methodical way, this thesis seeks to question the extent to which migrants themselves were the target audience of the hostile environment. It instead suggests that the hostile environment is an example of ‘symbolic policy’, with the primary aim being to appeal to domestic voters.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Naujoks, Daniel M.
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
November 2, 2018