In July 2013, the UK government arranged for a van to drive through parts of
London carrying the message ‘In the UK illegally? GO HOME or face arrest.’ The
vans were short-lived, but they were part of an ongoing trend in
government-sponsored communication designed to demonstrate control and toughness
around immigration. This book explores the effects of such performances of
toughness: on policy, on public debate, on pro-migrant and anti-racist activism,
and on the everyday lives of people in Britain. This book both presents research
findings, and provides insights into the practice of conducting research on such
a charged and sensitive topic. Blending original research, theoretical
analysis, and methodological reflections, the book addresses questions such
Who gets to decide who ‘belongs’?
How do anti-migrant
sentiments relate to changing forms of racism?
Are new divisions, and
new solidarities, emerging in the light of current immigration
Written in a clear and engaging style, the book sets an
agenda for a model of collaborative research between researchers, activists, and
people on the ground.
‘Go Home? The politics of Immigration Controversies is a thorough and informative publication which provides a distinctive insight into immigration policy and research debates. Operation Vaken should be considered a product of all that which has come before it, this research does well in outlining the current complexities of politics and immigration. Additionally, this book includes a complete snapshot of society with an engaging and pluralist commentary on the politics of immigration, allowing for meaningful and new conclusions to be made and new ideas to come to the forefront. Meanwhile, the book's honest exploration of the role, limitations and challenges within social research when exploring issues such as immigration will engage other researchers to evaluate and improve techniques.' Samiha Begum
Institute of Race Relations