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Disagreeing with the nation state: Why some Swedish municipalities refuse refugee reception
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2597-363X
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Sweden is often characterized as being a generous country when it comes to allowing immigrants entrance. However, since the national government is dependent on the local level for acceptance of refugees, there is a potential risk that a discrepancy emerges between the number of immigrants accepted at the national level and the number accepted at the local level. In fact, today, a significant number of municipalities hesitates to accept agreements with the government. These municipalities disregard the large flows of refugees that reach Sweden daily and oppose the pressure from Swedish authorities to contribute to the upholding of a continued generous migration policy. To be able to understand the motives of these reluctant municipalities we need to know more about what characterizes them. In this paper, we investigate both the structural and the political patterns of these municipalities and explain how they differ from those that do receive refugees. Drawing from the concepts of immigration control and multilevel governance, we deduce a number of hypotheses about how structural predictors will have an impact on the formation of local policy. Deriving from an extensive new data set of all Swedish municipalities for a handful of years, we outline the characteristics of these cases. Our findings suggest that complete immigration control is not only quantitatively different from a low level of reception, but also qualitatively different. That is, it seems as if some of the mechanisms at work when a municipality refrains from refugee reception altogether are not the same as those resulting in agreements at low levels. Instead, local opinion, expressed as the view towards refugee reception among the established parties, appears to be the factor most consistently showing importance throughout our analyses. One possible interpretation of this might be that while levels of reception, to some extent, are guided by structural prerequisites, such as the economy, the situation in the labour market and the capacity to accommodate refugees, etc., the decision to completely refrain from reception is primarily guided by ideological motives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Edinburgh, 2014.
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-22230OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-22230DiVA: diva2:727272
Conference
4th Annual General Conference of the European Political Science Association (EPSA), Edinburgh, 19-21 June 2014
Available from: 2014-06-19 Created: 2014-06-19 Last updated: 2014-10-10Bibliographically approved

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Bolin, NiklasLidén, Gustav
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf