“Refugee Industrial Complex,” Neoliberal Governance within the Resettlement Industry and Its Effects: Is An Alternative Structure Possible?

Title: “Refugee Industrial Complex,” Neoliberal Governance within the Resettlement Industry and Its Effects: Is An Alternative Structure Possible?

Author: Al-Dasouqui, Amira F.

Date: 2016

Description: Master’s Paper, Clark University, Community Development and Planning, Department of International Development, Community and Environment

This paper examines the U.S. Refugee Resettlement System and uses the author’s experience working at Ascentria Care Alliance in Worcester, MA as a case study. The author argues that the resettlement system has been largely affected by neoliberalism, privatization, and a decreased role of the state in ensuring the public welfare. The author shows how these trends have led to a decrease in direct assistance and oversight from the federal government and an increase in responsibility on the part of non-governmental organizations. The author also claims resettlement systems are more accountable to their funders than the refugees they are designed to serve. These power dynamics create what the author calls the ‘Refugee Industrial Complex’, which establishes the norms, values and practices of resettlement.

Keywords: Neoliberalism, Resettlement

Cataloged by: Patrick Barnosky/ B. J. Perkins

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