About This Project

“Refugee and Asylum Seeker Activism in Scotland: 1999 to Present” is a research project being undertaken at the University of St Andrews which seeks to produce a holistic picture of refugee and asylum seeker activism in Scotland since the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 established Scotland as a key dispersal zone for individuals seeking asylum in the UK. Unlike UK citizens, refugees and asylum seekers are restricted in their ability to participate in more formal political practices such as voting and running for office. This does not mean that politics does not matter to those seeking protection in the UK, but their interest and action may be less likely to conform to the ‘model’ of participation in Party politics. This project aims to establish both the extent and nature of the activism – or political engagement – of refugees and asylum seekers by investigating acts of protest and broader political engagement in civil society. This research thus seeks to understand the issues which provoke protest or encourage broader political engagement, the forms that such protests and engagement take, and who is engaging in political action.

Dr Natasha Saunders (Primary Investigator)
Tamara Al-Om (Research Assistant)

School of International Relations

Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland