Institutions and the challenges of refugee governance
Dalia Abdelhady

7 Dalia Abdelhady Media constructions of the refugee crisis in Sweden: institutions and the challenges of refugee governance In an article entitled ‘The Death of the Most Generous Nation on Earth’, American journalist James Traub (2016) claims that ‘The vast migration of desperate souls from Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere has posed a moral test the likes of which Europe has not faced since the Nazis forced millions from their homes in search of refuge. Europe has failed that test.’ Sweden stands out as an exception in Traub’s analysis due to the country’s generous

in Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe
Martin Joormann

2 Martin Joormann Social class, economic capital and the Swedish, German and Danish asylum systems This chapter starts by problematizing the politico-legal distinction between ‘economic migrant’ and ‘refugee’ in the Swedish and wider European contexts. It goes on to discuss the procedural similarities and differences of the Swedish, German and Danish asylum systems, their different appeal instances and their implications regarding the question of who can be granted (refugee) protection status. Drawing on insights from my PhD thesis (Joormann, 2019) and

in Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe
Annika Lindberg

5 Annika Lindberg Minimum rights policies targeting people seeking protection in Denmark and Sweden The temporary law changed the general view of Sweden in Europe. We used to be the generous country, and that affected us as a public agency, because this generous image has also characterized our approach. If you look around here in our office, the rooms are named after Malala, Raoul Wallenberg … all human rights advocates. We have the human rights convention framed on our walls … but now, we are supposed to adapt to an absolute minimum approach. We’re now at

in Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe

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.

Open Access (free)
Young Palestinian men encountering a Swedish introductory programme for refugees
Nina Gren

9 Nina Gren Living bureaucratisation: young Palestinian men encountering a Swedish introductory programme for refugees My dream is to study at the university. But when you go to [the caseworkers], they do not listen to your ambitions and dreams. They make you believe that you can tell them what you want. In the end they will write in their plans what they want. You want to study? Okay, you are going to study. They write ‘Amir wants to continue his education. Amir wants to study Swedish. Amir is going to take the social integration course. And this basically

in Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe
A critical study of social media discourses
Marie Sundström and Hedvig Obenius

8 Marie Sundström and Hedvig Obenius (De-)legitimation of migration: a critical study of social media discourses ‘She is old and sick and will not live for many more years, you have to be humane by letting her stay and not be so damn bureaucratic (two angry smileys)’.1 The quote comes from a comment adding to a discussion on Facebook about the case of Sahar, a 106-year-old woman whom the Swedish Migration Agency denied a permit to remain in Sweden.2 The Agency argued that despite Sahar’s old age and poor health, there was no reason for her not to return to the

in Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe
Contesting the meaning of the 2015 refugee crisis in Sweden
Admir Skodo

3 Admir Skodo Lesson for the future or threat to sovereignty? Contesting the meaning of the 2015 refugee crisis in Sweden Following the entry of 162,877 asylum seekers in 2015, Sweden introduced border controls in November of that year. These were followed by new laws in 2015–2016 that curtailed the possibility of being granted permanent residence, family reunification, and the social rights of asylum seekers. Such measures were necessary, according to the Swedish government, because the large number of entries triggered a refugee crisis. These were far

in Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe
A visual analysis of four frames of representation of ‘refugeeness’ in Swedish newspapers
Jelena Jovičić

6 Jelena Jovičić Images of crisis and the crisis of images: a visual analysis of four frames of representation of ‘refugeeness’ in Swedish newspapers The period 2015–2016 in Sweden (and beyond) became largely known as the refugee crisis – a construct readily associated with a negative event or a destabilizing period of time, which can affect both individuals and larger groups and societies. The term crisis came alongside the word ‘refugee’ – a pairing which is particularly loaded and comes with highly problematic political impositions. For example, how did

in Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe
Open Access (free)
Asylum and immobility in Britain, Denmark and Sweden
Victoria Canning

12 Victoria Canning1 Bureaucratised banality: asylum and immobility in Britain, Denmark and Sweden Bordering is not new to Northern and Western Europe. Although the erosion of physical and invisible boundaries is often celebrated – from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain, to the implementation of the Schengen Agreement in 1985 – a resurgence of bureaucratic bordering is manifest (see also the Introduction in this volume). Gaining entry to European countries has become ever more restrictive, particularly since the 1980s. Meanwhile, as Ana Aliverti

in Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe
Australia, France and Sweden compared
Dominique Anxo, Marian Baird, and Christine Erhel

16 Work and care regimes and women’s employment outcomes: Australia, France and Sweden compared Dominique Anxo, Marian Baird and Christine Erhel Introduction The objective of this chapter is to analyse how national care regimes interact with the employment regime to influence female employment outcomes. We do this with a comparative analysis of Australia (population 24 million), France (62 million) and Sweden (9.5 million), three advanced market economies that have distinct and contrasting employment and care regimes. For the employment regime, we focus on paid

in Making work more equal