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About Simon Parker

Simon Parker is Senior Lecturer in Politics and Director of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of York (UK) and lead investigator for the UK Economic and Social Research funded project: ‘Precarious Trajectories: Understanding the Human Cost of the Migrant Crisis in the Central Mediterranean’. In addition to the politics of asylum and migration his other research interests include urban studies and urban theory, socio-spatial informatics, and comparative European politics (with particular reference to Italy). Simon is a co-founder of Refugee Action York and the UK-based campaign group End Child Detention Now.

Articles by Simon Parker

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Theresa May, this is not a ‘crisis of migration’, but a crisis of inhumanity

In a carefully coded speech, the UK Prime Minister categorises people on the move as “threats that we face” alongside war and global terrorism.

The politics of death: hunger strikes, Isa Muazu and the deepening inhumanity of the British State

A Nigerian asylum seeker has been on hunger strike in a UK detention centre for more than 90 days. The British Home Office has drawn up an 'end of life plan' and made arrangements to deport him early on Friday morning. An important line has been crossed.

A Greek tragedy on the London stage: the City, the Eurozone crisis and an urban dark age to come

Capitalist perpetrators of the crash are intent on using the opportunity provided by austerity to divert political and economic power to compliant nation states and emergent para-sovereign bodies, such as the EU Troika, that operate outside the constraints of democratic control and public accountability. 

Press hysteria and UK government migration research: a contagious syndrome

A social scientist unpicks the flawed methodology of Home Office research on migration.

Workfare and the state of exception

The retrospective legalisation of workfare has deprived rightful claimants of £130 million. Alongside the lives wrecked in its wake, the ‘emergency’ legislation has exposed a chasm at the heart of Britain's parliamentary democracy.

UK’s persecution of kidney transplant patient Roseline goes on and on

Actor Colin Firth condemns Home Secretary's challenge to court judgment allowing transplant patient's right to life.

Pandering to the bigots? An exchange on Ed Miliband, immigration and the nation-state

Is Labour justified in speaking to the British people's fears on immigration, or are they legitimising the far right? How far do the English retain their racist attitudes, or is England at ease with its modern multiculturalism? And what is the case for secure borders in a world where the role of the nation-state is under question? In the following exchange, Anthony Barnett of OurKingdom and Simon Parker of Refugee Action York cut to the heart of the immigration question. 

Child detention goes on and on in the UK

Most children detained in the new “I can’t believe it’s not detention” facilities are held for more than 72 hours.

Hard-hitting play on asylum system is a favourite of the Edinburgh Fringe

Simon Parker, Coordinator End Child Detention Now, reports from Edinburgh on Catherine O’Shea’s chilling take on the UK asylum system

The UK continues to detain children, a year after the Coalition's pledge to end it

A year ago, the Coalition pledged to end the practice of child detention in the UK. Yet the real agenda of the UK Border Agency has not changed. The detention and enforced removal of children remains a key aspect of immigration control. Can the government be pressured into honouring their promise?

An end to child detention?: how a High Court judgement brings us closer

In a landmark judgment on child detention at Yarl’s Wood, Judge Wyn Williams found that the UK Border Agency failed to uphold its own rules and breached claimants’ rights to freedom, privacy and family life. The coalition government’s plans to continue detaining children until May now look to be in ruins.

On Her Majesty’s Deceitful Service: The Woolas Case and the Ignoble Lies of the British State

The legal declaration that Phil Woolas knowingly lied and his election was void has reignited a debate on politics as a black art. Now it seems the dark spirit is animating government and official statements are not to be believed either.
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