"Voices in Limbo" : An analysis of the strategic choices of the members of the refugee collective ‘We Are Here’ during their mobilisation for societal change
MetadataShow full item record
In the Netherlands, a discrepancy exists between the immigration control policies and its practical implementations, the so called ‘policy gap’. As a result, there is a considerable number of rejected asylum seekers who are neither able to return to their country of origin nor eligible for a residence permit in the Netherlands. Despite the risk of detention, in 2012 a group of rejected asylum seekers mobilised to demonstrate their precarious situation in society. This mobilisation resulted in a social movement under the name of “We Are Here”. By researching the case of ‘We Are Here’, this study aims to contribute to the lack of understanding about how activists make strategic choices in their repertoire of contention within the collective action body of literature. As a result, this research overcomes the structural emphasis within the Contentious Politics theory, by emphasising the agency dimension in the interactional process of claim-making. Therefore, this research makes use of the Strategic Action approach, leading to the identification of four components on which the members of ‘We Are Here’ base their strategic choices. These four components consist of core strategies, collective identity, resource availability, and the relationship with supporters. In addition, this research shows that in order to understand how these four components affect the strategic choices, it is essential to take the position of activists within society into account.