Given the significant similarities and differences between the welfare states of Northern Europe and their reactions to the perceived 'refugee crisis' of 2015, the book focuses primarily on the three main cases of Denmark, Sweden and Germany. Placed in a wider Northern European context – and illustrated by those chapters that also discuss refugee experiences in Norway and the UK – the Danish, Swedish and German cases are the largest case studies of this edited volume. Thus, the book contributes to debates on the governance of non-citizens and the meaning of displacement, mobility and seeking asylum by providing interdisciplinary analyses of a largely overlooked region of the world, with two specific aims. First, we scrutinize the construction of the 2015 crisis as a response to the large influx of refugees, paying particular attention to the disciplinary discourses and bureaucratic structures that are associated with it. Second, we investigate refugees’ encounters with these bureaucratic structures and consider how these encounters shape hopes for building a new life after displacement. This allows us to show that the mobility of specific segments of the world’s population continues to be seen as a threat and a risk that has to be governed and controlled. Focusing on the Northern European context, our volume interrogates emerging policies and discourses as well as the lived experiences of bureaucratization from the perspective of individuals who find themselves the very objects of bureaucracies.
imperatives of getting by through trade that often had to be conducted in English, created cultural and linguistic interdependencies that rubbed uncomfortably alongside national and local understandings of race, difference and belonging.
While my fieldwork mainly took place at these market sites, I also ended up making notes on things that I witnessed and took part in during marches and protests; community events; and, as I went about my regular life in the city, doing my shopping, hanging out with friends and travelling on publictransport. The kinds of vivacious and
functioned in complicity with it, participating in the abuse of those who were more vulnerable (Stallybrass and White 1986 : 9). The idea of the carnivalesque and its relevance to marketplace interactions very practically influenced the way I thought about the selection and definition of research sites in this project. The festive laughter of my market sites spread out along the pavements of the city centre and onto the main forms of publictransport that carried my vendor participants and their merchandise to and from work. It also infiltrated different contexts, in
-something from Homs with a vocational trade,
recounted two years of life in a town in the former East Germany, where,
on the one hand, he experienced the joy of new Syrian friendships made in
exile and on the other, the indignities of racist slurs endured on publictransport. These and other experiences, however, paled beside what he
insisted was the dominant force guiding both his new life in Germany and
that of his compatriot asylum seekers: the aspiration to rebuild, achieve,
and live dignified lives:
We are driven to improve ourselves. Some are studying in university, and
Asylum and immobility in Britain, Denmark and Sweden
Sjælsmark in 2015, the country’s first deportation
centre. Near to the centre for arrivals (Sandholm) and Ellebæk Aliens
Centre, it is built in former military barracks approximately 25 kilometres
north of Copenhagen, and takes around one hour and forty-five minutes to
reach by publictransport from the city centre.
Unlike Ellebæk detention centre, Sjælsmark is an open camp and although
there is a curfew, residents are technically ‘free’ to come and go as they
wish. With around 140 people living there at the time of writing, it is
sprawling but not overcrowded. People
had recommended to him by saying ‘it will make you a
local anywhere’, and entered the address where he was expected
within the next hour. From there on he followed the visual and audio
instructions emitted by his phone and reached his destination in
thirty-five minutes. With the aid of the publictransport network and
its information maps as well as with the smartphone, the navigation
– compared to 57 per cent for Chorlton and 45 per cent
for Whalley Range) and a higher rate of married residents. Cheadle
All in the mix
Hulme has voted Liberal Democrat in both local and national elections in the last couple of decades, whilst both Whalley Range and
Chorlton consistently elect Labour representatives.
Thus we have a series of comparisons which the three areas offer.
All are residential, more-or-less suburban areas with fairly good
publictransport to the city centre. Chorlton is the most prosperous area, with higher house prices, a higher percentage
social housing in the course of the fieldwork
due to rent arrears. One of these was Kurt whose situation had been compounded
by wider circumstances (the death of his father, loss of job) and he had simply not
taken in how imminent crisis was (see Box 9).
Gradual payment schemes to repay debt are discussed by many respondents
and daily problems of keeping the household in food by some. It goes without
saying that activism is profoundly affected by this; the inability to travel to demos
or meetings because individuals do not have cash for publictransport or the coach
Anne Kerr, Choon Key Chekar, Emily Ross, Julia Swallow, and Sarah Cunningham-Burley
found it difficult to attend meetings as she had to rely on publictransport. Karin shared her experience of attending a medical conference to which patient advocates and representatives were invited:
I've been to an odd one or two, [lung cancer patient meetings] and … to be quite honest, I don't know what they called it now. It was a little bit too sort of medical-wise for us. And we went with the impression that, you know, we've had cancer, can we put our point forward, and it, we never got to that
shops used their own vehicles, but others who were working on a smaller scale, such as unlicensed street vendors and many of the West African buyers at Poggioreale market, tended to move their merchandise around the city on foot and on publictransport. For this purpose they used large, soft black holdalls with wheels, or blue plastic sacks tied with rope to trolleys. These activities created tension on crowded buses, metro trains and trams, and I often saw Neapolitans cursing and gesticulating at them as they got on and off vehicles. Such local struggles over the