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Svensk invandrar- och integrationspolitik: en fråga om jämlikhet, demokrati och mänskliga rättigheter
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Swedish immigrant and integration policy : a question of equality, democracy and human rights (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis consists of three studies that discuss and analyse Sweden's immigrant and integration policy from different perspectives. The main aim is to provide an understanding of and try to explain why the goal to develop an equal status and situation for immigrants and refugees in Sweden not has been realized. The first study, which also is a licentiate thesis, investigates national and local immigrant policy. It focuses on the political application in Umeå, a community in the north of Sweden. The second study extends the analysis by investigating interests and values that have dominated in the process which led to the Swedish integration policy of 1997. The third study extends the discussion about shifts in interests and values in Swedish immigrant policy. Its focus is on the recent increase in interest for questions about integration and repatriation respectively. The three studies are also discussed in introductory and summarizing discussions. The integration problems are here discussed from an extensive theoretical and analytical perspective with focus on questions about integration, citizenship and human rights. One main conclusion is that fundamental organisational, social, economical and political problems must be solved before the goals of Swedish immigrant policy can be reached. In addition it shows that Swedish immigrant and integration policy has developed parallel to, and been influenced by similar developments in other European immigration countries. In addition, international agreements on 'immigrants' and 'refugees' legal position have been of great importance in this development process as well. Accordingly a conclusion is that Swedish immigrant and integration policy not can be seen as an isolated Swedish phenomenon, but must be studied in relation to the development in both Sweden and to its international context. The results of the study of Swedish integration policy show that the moral foundation for this 'new' policy is both well informed and ambitious. It deals with the burning need to abandon the former immigrant policy that stigmatized and often segregated the people it was supposed to support. Yet these ambitions have been restricted by world events, Sweden's financial problems and disagreements among politicians, local workers and affected actors about political practice. The study shows that pragmatic economical considerations largely determine the development of this political field. It also shows that the contemporary debate about Sweden's integration policy consists of tensions between different perspectives, values, interests, ideologies and the like. These kinds of tension are revealed in the study of Swedish integration and repatriation policy as well. I show that both arguments for integration and repatriation political efforts can be built upon apparently humanitarian motives. An argument put forward is that two parallel and often conflicting approaches to what is meant by 'humanitarian efforts' for immigrants and refugees have developed. One approach means that fundamental structural problems in society must be solved before conditions for immigrants and refugees can be more similar to those of the majority. The other approach means that Swedish society only can offer them a life with social, economical and political marginalisation and that the best solution is to set them free from this fate. This later approach is discussed and criticized for being ambiguous and for involving moral political dilemmas. An argument put forward is that it is doubtful whether a repatriation policy can be justifed from a moral and human perspective. In the introductory and summarizing discussions I argue in favour of expanded citizenship and expanded human rights as means to promote participation in a multiethnic and multicultural democracy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2000. , 66 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; 16
Keyword [en]
immigrant and integration policy, immigrant political transformation, integration, equality, co-operation, democracy, human rights, citizenship, social exclusion, political participation
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-60632ISBN: 91-7191-786-1OAI: diva2:561752
Public defence
2000-05-19, Sal Bt 102, Beteendevetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15
Available from: 2012-10-22 Created: 2012-10-22 Last updated: 2013-05-02Bibliographically approved

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