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Accepted Paper:

Whose Welfare State? A racialized logic to unprotect immigration and asylum in Spain  
Alèxia Rué (Universitat de Barcelona) Olga Jubany (Universitat de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

Through an ethnographic lens, this chapter exposes and debates the inherent racism that tints the welfare system in Spain, which contributes to foster the legal and social exclusion and welfare dependency of asylum seekers, even through allegedly ‘integrative’ policies, such as asylum reception.

Paper long abstract:

Despite most states defining boundaries to welfare along the lines of citizenship, the extension of at least some of this protection to migrants has rarely been challenged and is considered to be a basic feature of any welfare state. In spite of this, immigration has long been placed at the centre of exclusionary debates on welfare. Xenophobic approaches to social protection have contended that the welfare state is put at risk by higher numbers of immigrants, who have been construed as a ‘burden’, rather than as contributors. These discourses rely on hierarchical classifications of humans and citizens to establish a basic distinction between the ‘deserving’ and the ‘underserving’ across gendered, racialised and class lines. This is ultimately reflected in the reduction of the welfare services for migrants across Europe, reinforced by the penetration of extreme right discourses into mainstream politics, processes of criminalisation of migration, and the commodification of migrant workers. Grounded on an ethnographic study of the asylum reception system in Spain, this chapter exposes and debates the inherent racism that tints the welfare system in Spain, which contributes to foster the legal and social exclusion and welfare dependency of asylum seekers, even through allegedly ‘integrative’ policies, such as the asylum reception programme.

Panel P051
Bordering and establishment of gray zones in context of migration, health care and social welfare in Europe
  Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -