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Accepted paper:

"It's that kind of place here": Solidarity, place-making and civil society response to the 2015 refugee crisis in Wales


Taulant Guma

Paper short abstract:

This article examines the different ways in which local civil society has responded to the 2015 "refugee crisis" in Wales. Adopting a relational perspective on place, the paper argues that these responses can be understood not only as acts of solidarity but also as practices of locality production.

Paper long abstract:

While the 2015 "refugee crisis" has generated a considerable amount of scholarly attention, including empirical accounts that look into local community responses to refugees and asylum seekers, the current research has tended to overlook the significance of place and the varied impact of the recent "crisis" across localities in the UK and Europe; this paper attends to this gap in the existing research. It draws on findings from qualitative research carried out between 2017 and 2018 with refugee-supporting organisations based in three different locations in Wales. Taking a comparative look at these organisations, the article sheds light on the intensity and variation of civil society responses in each of these localities, showing how these are closely interwoven with processes of place-making and place-framing, contributing to the reshaping of civil society networks and population profiles in these local areas. Drawing on geographical (Massey 1991) and anthropological (Appaduari 1996) perspectives on place, the article argues that humanitarian responses to the 2015 "refugee crisis" can be understood not only as instances of hospitality and solidarity but also as practices of locality production.

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