November 17, 2019
Scapegoat : Maya Goodfellow on the Hostile Environment (Radical Book Fair)
Assembly Roxy
November 17, 2019
3.00pm - 4.00pm
Assembly Roxy
2 Roxburgh Place
Edinburgh, EH8 9SU United Kingdom
The Radical Book Fair welcomes researcher and Verso author Maya Goodfellow for a Scottish launch for her debut book, Hostile Environment.

Ranging across the intersecting histories of class, race, nation and empire, Maya Goodfellow deftly shows how the contemporary demonising of migrants, including refugees and asylum-seekers, has a long and dispiriting national and global backstory to it—but there are also heartening stories of resistance and solidarity which point to the way forward.’ - PRIYAMVADA GOPAL

The UK government proudly calls the aim of its immigration policy to be the creation of a “hostile environment, ” while refugees drown in the Mediterranean and Britain votes to leave the EU against claims that “swarms”of migrants are entering Britain. Meanwhile, study after study confirms that immigration is not damaging the UK’s economy, nor putting a strain on public services, but immigration is blamed for all of Britain’s ills. Yet concerns about immigration are deemed “legitimate” across the political spectrum, with few exceptions. How did we get here?

Maya Goodfellow offers a compelling answer. Through interviews with leading policy-makers, asylum seekers, and immigration lawyers, Goodfellow illuminates the dark underbelly of contemporary immigration policies. A nuanced analysis of the UK’s immigration policy from the 1960s onwards, Hostile Environment links immigration policy and the rhetoric of both Labour and Tory governments to the UK’s colonial past and its imperialist present. Goodfellow shows that distinct forms of racism and dehumanisation directly resulted from immigration policy, and reminds us of the human cost of concessions to anti-immigration politics.

The book is a brilliant exposé of both the struggles faced by migrants and a rallying cry for the pro-migrant movement we desperately need.’ - MAGID MAGID

Maya Goodfellow is a researcher and a freelance writer. She has written for The Guardian, The New Statesman, The Independent, Media Diversified and others. Her work focuses on politics, immigration, gender and race.


This event is part of Edinburgh's 23rd Independent & Radical Book Fair, which runs from the 14th-17th November 2019. Please follow the link for details of accessibility as well as the bookshop's safer spaces policy.

The Independent & Radical Book Fair is entirely run by Lighthouse- Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop and we receive no outside funding. To keep the event running in this spectacular and accessible space, and to make it as welcoming as possible, a third of all tickets are FREE, and the rest are by donation. Please give as generously as you can, either online or at the book fair!