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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

“It was the photograph of the little boy”: reflections on the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme in the UK

Abstract

This article examines the “Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme” (SVPRP) as a specific British response to the “European refugee crisis”. Based on an analysis of media reporting (2014–17) and empirical evidence from agencies and volunteers tasked with implementing the programme, this essay reveals the ethical and political ambiguities at its heart. By focusing on the notion of “vulnerability” I argue that the humanitarian configuration of a refugee worthy of care is implicated in two significant practices: exceptionalising a small group of Syrians as legitimate targets for compassion and constructing compassion itself as a rationed resource in a climate of anti-immigrant hostility, austerity and Brexit. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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Journal

Ethnic and Racial Studies

Author

Heidi Armbruster (United Kingdom)

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