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)
Dalia Abdelhady, Nina Gren, and Martin Joormann

violence of welfare bureaucracies crisis almost vanished from public discourse a few months later. What remains, however, are debates about what institutional arrangements are best suited to ‘integrate’ the refugees and maximise their utility for the welfare state they encounter. Despite the spotlight, whether during the ‘long summer of migration’ in 2015 (Hess et al., 2016; Odugbesan and Schwiertz, 2018), which led to the constructed notion of a refugee crisis, or in the many welfare state interventions that target refugees across Europe, little is known about the

in Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe
Open Access (free)
Understanding the violence of the benevolent welfare state in Norway
Nerina Weiss

and the violence of welfare bureaucracies are characterised as ‘simple accommodations’ [nøktern botilbud], which should secure the inhabitants’ basic needs and security (UDI Rundskriv RS 2008-031). Such centres are either centralised, that is refugees living in the same building as the camp administration – former hotels, schools or other institutions, or decentralised, in which case the refugees and asylum seekers are allocated ordinary flats or houses in vicinity to the camp administration. Such decentralised reception centres are usually preferred, as the

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

situation, such as a crisis or structural ethnic discrimination. 2) Methodological or explanatory level. Statements on this level theorize the means and applications of any political intervention and contain claims about the causality of political and social processes. 52 Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies 3) Normative level. Statements on this level describe core values and goals of practices and policies on the one hand, and provide a justification for such values and goals on the other. Although interrelated in practice, I separate these levels in

in Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe
Barbara Czarniawska

9 Virtual red tape, or digital v. paper bureaucracy Barbara Czarniawska Our everyday Camusian-existential struggle […] is played ‘as if’ it were unfolding within a labyrinth-like bureaucracy, as we wrestle with the increasing complexity of contemporary life, with its spider’s web of rules and regulations, some often contradicting the others. (Warner, 2007: 1028) Framing technology has changed: what about overflows? Before I move to the main topic of my chapter, ‘virtual red tape’ as a new way of framing bureaucratic overflows, a few words about bureaucracy. Max

in Overwhelmed by overflows?
Syrian asylum seekers and bureaucracy in Germany
Wendy Pearlman

10 Wendy Pearlman Aspiration, appreciation, and frustration: Syrian asylum seekers and bureaucracy in Germany The university system here is very complicated and bureaucratic. In the German system, universities demand a 2.5 GPA. That is 80–85 per cent in the Syrian system. The student who is ranked number one in all of Syria got 80 per cent. I graduated from university in Syria with a GPA of 70 per cent, which is very good for the system there. But here they do not understand the difference in the systems. They recognize my degree, but with bad grades. I am

in Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe
Open Access (free)
Young Palestinian men encountering a Swedish introductory programme for refugees
Nina Gren

practices are, as we will learn, experienced as constraining and excluding. 162 Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies In addition, I claim that the bureaucratic labelling of my interlocutors as ‘refugees’ (Zetter, 1991), whose reason for migrating was fleeing persecution and violent conflict, conceals their aspirations to attain or continue higher education. This co-existence (or sometimes blending) of different motivations for mobility, and its connection to imagining a better life in faraway places after migration, is well-known within anthropology

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

Bourdieu’s (1984) conceptualization of classed distinctions rooted in these three forms of capital, the chapter shares the following understanding. Migration and indeed human mobility in general ‘cannot be analysed without reference to class and capital [ … while] mobility in asylum seeking is both socially stratified and socially stratifying’ (Ihring (2016) cited in Scheinert, 2017, p. 133). Sweden’s migration bureaucracy and access to (economic) capital Political scientist Livia Johannesson (2017, p. 1) stresses the assessment of many legal scholars, finding that

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

on three levels, affecting each other top down and bottom up: institutionalised discourses, mass media discourses and civil society discourses. Although this study focuses on the level of civil society, these levels are not isolated from each other, with the discourses in civil society being affected by the discourses on the other levels 146 Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies and vice versa. By adding a contemporary layer to the Habermasian understanding of public discourse, inasmuch as it takes place in social media, we argue that social media

in Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe
Institutions and the challenges of refugee governance
Dalia Abdelhady

process of credibility assessment that assumes fraudulence on part of asylum seekers (Noll, 2005); the institutionalised power imbalance between asylum claimants and the authorities that challenge these claims in the legal process (Joormann, 2019; see also chapter 2); and the inhumane views of the Other that shape different levels of the migration bureaucracy (Barker, 2012; Schoultz, 2013; see also chapter 9). It is, therefore, logical to wonder how Sweden’s image as generous, humane and righteous has persisted despite such evidence. Additionally, given the drastic

in Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe