Refugee and forced migrants are not welcome in Europe’s diminished welfare states
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University of Warwick
Publication date: 2020-07-16
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Marianna Fotaki   

University of Warwick Warwick Business School, Coventry, Scarman Road CV74AL
Problemy Polityki Społecznej 2020;48:53-72
The recent arrivals of refugees from the Middle East fleeing war and persecution, and forced migrants escaping poverty, mostly from Asia and Africa, have fundamentally challenged European states’ commitment to solidarity with these vulnerable populations seeking protection. Researchers have identified a range of social and individual factors that may facilitate or impede societies’ willingness to receive refugees and migrants. However, less attention has been devoted to how their reception may be linked with diminished provision of public services for citizens and declining welfare states in many countries in Europe. This article considers how the ascendance of the neoliberal ideology and its’ key shifts in public policy contributed to a growing sense of insecurity and precarity in industrialized countries over recent decades and has affected people’s willingness to assist and accept them. It brings together insights from a variety of disciplines to better understand social policy developments and its relation to refugee and forced migration. It concludes that a feminist psychosocial conception of relationality provides a basis for rethinking our approaches to these important issues by politicizing the ethical obligation to protect the lives of unknown others.
I would like to thank two anonymous referees for their useful comments and Dr Maria Theiss for the invitation to submit this article to the journal. Any remaining errors are my responsibility alone.
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