Conference paper

When social inequality goes beyond the nation state : analyzing how Swedish municipalities handle vulnerable EU-migrants


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Publication Details

Author list: Lidén, Gustav

Publication year: 2017


Since 2012 Sweden has faced a seemingly new situation with social inequality displaying itself as an increasing amount of homeless people making a living mainly as beggars in Swedish cities and towns. With the Swedish welfare state and the far reaching local autonomy this situation with social inequality is left to each municipality to decide upon how to handle. The situation is growing in complexity since the majority of the people in the precarious situation are so called “EU-migrants” which means that they are people traveling within EU seeking a better life trying to avoid poverty, unemployment and many times harassments and racism. In this study we have analyzed how it comes that this situation is handled differently by local authorities. Applying a most similar system design we look at how 7 municipalities within a region in the northern parts of Sweden handle the situation with social vulnerability. Given that the municipalities have the same political majority, are located in the same region and are ruled by the same national policies, we pose the question why is the outcome so different? The study shows how the local public officials and politicians are negotiating rights, citizenship and needs and how boundaries are drawn within the welfare state.


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