Leiden Law School and University of Stirling investigate migrant homelessness within ‘crimmigration’ systems

This collaborative study examines the major challenges facing migrant groups and the implications of deep social exclusion for policy and practice.

‘Drowning hands’ guerrilla artwork protests criminalisation of migrants. Credit: migrants rights group Rete Oltre il Ponte

In her previous research, the principal investigator on the project ‘Choice, constraint and conditional citizenship: Analysing migrant homelessness within ‘crimmigration’ systems’ researcher Dr Regina C. Serpa has aimed to understand policy, practice and how migrants negotiate the demands presented by homelessness and destitution. As a Fellow of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Dr Serpa will develop doctoral research, exploring the intersections between migration and housing need, based on research conducted in North America and Europe.

The Fellowship will incorporate new research to investigate the social citizenship of migrant groups, based on re-interpretating data collected from two case studies (in Massachusetts and Scotland). The new research commencing 2021 includes an additional case study in Leiden, focussing on the intersections between immigration and criminal justice in the Netherlands. The research involves a collaboration with a leading Foucauldian scholar (Dr Kim McKee from the University of Stirling) and an international expert in socio-legal studies (Prof. Maartje van der Woude from Leiden Law School).

Specifically, the study will advance our understanding of emerging ‘crimmigration’ systems (the convergence of immigration and criminal law) and will enable a comparison of practices between ostensibly social democratic and neoliberal welfare regimes. By embedding a critical realist approach within a ‘governmentality’ analysis, this mixed-method, interdisciplinary, approach will offer a rigorous analysis of the ways in which social citizenship for migrant groups is constrained, and re-asserted, under emerging crimmigration ‘control systems’. Fieldwork will commence in the summer of 2021 and will be followed by an international symposium on ‘crimmigration and social citizenship’ hosted by Leiden Law School in Autumn 2021.

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