Geographies of asylum: legal knowledge and legal practices

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White, Allen
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Law and legal discourses are an integral part of social life, a central means of producing social identities and exercising social power in day to day life. Critically informed geographical perspectives on law have illustrated in a number of ways how the legal and social (and therefore the spatial) are mutually constitutive. This paper argues that perspectives from critical legal geography can offer insights into the operation of asylum and immigration law in the UK in the late 1990s. This paper argues that legal practices and relations are organised in hegemonic and counter-hegemonic ways in different places and institutional contexts in London. In addition law and legal practices comprise a particularly important way in which ‘community’ can be constructed simultaneously across a variety of different scales in ways that can marginalise and exclude relatively powerless groups like asylum seekers. Thus refugee identities offer a particularly clear example of how social realities are constituted by law and legal practice.
Law , Legal geographies , Power , Asylum institutions , UK asylum legislation
WHITE, A. 2002. Geographies of asylum, legal knowledge and legal practices. Political Geography, 21(8), 1055-1073.
Copyright © 2002, Elsevier. NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Political Geography. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Political Geography [Volume 21, Issue 8, November 2002]