New study to explore actions of solidarity with asylum seekers and refugees

A new study into collective actions in support of vulnerable groups – including asylum seekers and refugees - is being led by our University in collaboration with the Université de Nantes.

Led by Dr Pierre Monforte (pictured) at Leicester and Estelle d’Halluin-Mabillot at Nantes, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded research project will run from January 2017 to December 2019. The overall goal of the research is to analyse and compare how and why volunteers get involved in charities and networks that support asylum seekers and refugees in Britain and in France.

Dr Monforte, of the School of Media, Communication and Sociology, said: “Over the last decades, in a context in which the living conditions of asylum seekers and refugees are becoming increasingly difficult, many charities have dedicated themselves to the support of these groups across Europe.

“This study focuses on the case of the volunteers engaged in the support of asylum seekers and refugees in order to analyse questions which remain underexplored in the literature on collective action. Little is known about how volunteers involved in this field construct their engagement with altruistic action and define their role in society. The comparison between the French and British case will allow for an original and well-needed approach on these questions. This study is very topical, in the context of the refugee crisis and the emergence of new forms of solidarity such as the ‘Refugees Welcome’ movements."