Integration requirements - a motivating force or an obstacle to integration?: Debating the nexus between integration and family immigration in Sweden
2012 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Sweden represents one of the most liberal systems in Europe when it comes to family migration policies. Simultaneously, Sweden – just like other European countries – experiences a growing sense of crisis concerning immigrant integration, particularly manifested as a persistent gap between natives and immigrants in the labour market. The country is also put under considerable pressure to harmonize with the European trend of introducing more restrictive requirements in this area. In this paper I discuss the political process leading up to the 2010 introduction in Sweden of a financial support requirement for family migration, which introduced a linkage between integration achievements and the right to acquire admission to the country that had not existed before. Using the method of comparative process tracing, where comparable policy developments in other European countries – notably the Netherlands and United Kingdom – are related, I discuss whether we should characterize the Swedish case as an exception to the common European trend of fusing integration requirements and migration control or as a latecomer that is gradually adapting to the situation in other countries, and argue that there is currently ground for the first interpretation. In the analysis I also address the question how the Swedish case should be explained, and argue that we should take into account factors such as salience of right wing populist parties; public opinion; framing of the political discourse and the legacy of a national integration model where both multiculturalism and universal welfare state policies are emphasized.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-25100OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-25100DiVA: diva2:757810
The IMISCOE 9th Annual Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands 28-29 August 2012