Nerina Weiss
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The trauma of waiting
Understanding the violence of the benevolent welfare state in Norway
in Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe

Focusing on Norway, the chapter tackles one specific form of frustration, that of waiting. In illustrating the ways in which the welfare state exerts violence on refugees, the analysis depicts the ways bureaucracies negatively impact the lived experiences of those waiting to be resettled in a municipality and to start a new life, despite attempts of empathy and care by individual street-level bureaucrats. Even though the author’s interlocutors have received permanent residency, lack of willingness and coordination between different welfare state institutions prolongs the waiting and creates a situation of bureaucratic violence.

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