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The story of how British citizenship developed and why this matters for questions of race, migration and belonging in 'Global Britain'

Hosted and produced by Michaela Benson.

Cover Art: George Kalivis

Production and post-production: Art of Podcast 

May 13, 2022

Countries around the world have been quick to crow about the provisions they are putting in place to welcome those displaced by the war in Ukraine. Yet, all might not be what it seems.

In this first episode of Beyond the Headlines, hosts Dr Ala Sirriyeh and Professor Michaela Benson are in conversation with Dr Yvonne Su, York University to examine what the headlines announcing a warm welcome to Ukrainian refugees in Poland and the UK shield from view. We explore how even among those displaced by the war, not everyone has equal access to leaving Ukraine. Race, gender and sexuality can all shape people’s fate at the border, leaving some with only unsafe routes out of the conflict-ridden country.

And we consider the narrative that presents Ukrainians as ‘good refugees’, within the wider context of a politics of migration that otherwise casts many of those seeking new lives abroad as illegitimate and underserving, and within states that have readily deployed deterrents and push backs against migrants.

You can access the full transcripts for each episode over on the Rebordering Britain and Britons after Brexit website.

In this episode we cover …

1 Ukraine war and refugees

2 Borders and inequalities

3 ‘Good refugees’


What everyone is hearing is just the numbers of refugees that Poland's accepting or Germany's accepting, or the UK is not accepting, in this case, but then we don't like you're saying we don't look behind the headlines and into what's happening on the ground.

— Dr Yvonne Su

Find out more

Find Yvonne on Twitter or her website

Read her writing on Poland’s border propaganda and anti-immigration sentiments; the good, bad and ideal’ refugees; and how standard humanitarian responses lead to LGBTQ and trans refugees falling between the cracks.

Our headline ‘How European response to Ukraine refugees differs from UK The Guardian, 11 March 2022

Ala’s thoughts on the politics of compassion and the channel crossings

Michaela’s writing (with Professor Nando Sigona) about the UK’s response to and provisions for Ukrainian refugees.

For something a bit different, we recommend this episode of Academic Aunties which features Yvonne in conversation with Dr. Ethel Tungohan about Turning Red.

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