Steven Loyal & Stephen Quilley




Categories of State Control: Asylum Seekers and the Direct Provision and Dispersal System in Ireland 

The introduction of the system of direct provision and dispersal (DPDS) to house asylum seekers in Ireland was the result of a number of processes, performing several functions, inclduing the state’s twin desires to deter the further arrival of asylum seekers and to control and manage those already within its borders. This, in turn, has to be understood in a wider social, economic, and historical conjuncture, including a long-standing restrictionary policy toward immigrants, a pre-existing institutional culture of confinement, an attempt to reassert sovereignty following the shift towards a global economy and the acceptance of European labor migration, and the operation of a Common Travel Area between Ireland and the UK. To understand such a complex constellation of processes it may be useful to see the state in Bourdieu’s terms, as a bureaucratic field of forces consisting of fractured interests operating on the basis of cooperative tension.


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