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Governing Migration: On the Emergence and Effects of Policies Related to the Settlement and Inclusion of Refugees
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Housing and Urban Research.
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Description
Abstract [en]

This thesis consists of the following papers: In Paper I, I investigate the causal relationship between seat majorities for mainstream parties and refugee reception policy in Swedish municipalities. In conclusion, I find that the link between political seat majorities and refugee reception is of an associative rather than a causal nature. In order to find significant estimates, the win margin for each bloc needs to be rather substantial. Thus, the paper indicates that there is a unified political attitude over the mainstream blocs towards refugee reception and that other factors, and not political seat majorities, have contributed to the uneven distribution of refugees among municipalities in Sweden. In Paper II, I turn to focus on how stakeholders in four small-sized Swedish municipalities with diverging historical reception of refugees explain and describe their policy approach. By conducting semi-structured interviews, I find that stakeholders share a common understanding about how refugee reception has been performed locally (in terms of high or low refugee intake) and that they emphasise the importance of prior experiences rather than the composition of political parties or resources in explaining their current policy approach. In Paper III, which is co-authored with Henrik Andersson, we investigate whether asylum seekers react to changes in migration policy by assessing the effects of a Swedish regulatory change implemented in 2013. Using high-frequency data with information on the weekly number of asylum seekers, we find that refugees do react very rapidly, even within a week, but that the effects were temporary. We also find that the Swedish change of policy affected the distribution of Syrian asylum seekers in Europe in a significant manner as well as the characteristics of the Syrian population of refugees coming to Sweden. In Paper IV, which is co-authored with Darrel Robinson, we investigate the effects of residency status on the labour market participation of refugees. Using a full-population database, we show that residency status has a short-term effect on labour market participation among Syrian refugees, indicating that those granted temporary residency are more active in the labour market. However, those granted permanent residency are more likely to participate in education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2020. , p. 70
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 177
Keywords [en]
Sweden, Refugees, Asylum policy, Residency status, Municipal refugee reception policy, Mainstream parties, Labour market inclusion, Syria
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-404108ISBN: 978-91-513-0899-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-404108DiVA, id: diva2:1410947
Public defence
2020-06-13, Brusewitzsalen, Östra Ågatan 19, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-05-05 Created: 2020-03-02 Last updated: 2020-05-05
List of papers
1. Unity or Distinction over Political Borders? The Impact of Mainstream Parties in Local Seat Majorities on Refugee reception
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Unity or Distinction over Political Borders? The Impact of Mainstream Parties in Local Seat Majorities on Refugee reception
(English)In: Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

This study exploits close elections in Sweden to assess the causal relationship between seat majorities for mainstream political parties and refugee reception policy. The study focuses on the two dominant mainstream political blocs, in a centre-right and a centre-left coalition, during three waves of elections from 2002 to 2010. By doing so, the study brings a few additions to current research: Firstly, besides addressing a current knowledge gap in the focus on mainstream parties and refugee reception policy, this study brings an investigation of the impact of seat majorities which potentially have a more influential position compared to individual parties. Secondly, the study relies on an empirical strategy which allows comparison of comparable cases. Lastly, the study focuses on mainstream parties at the local level of government within one institutional context and thus addresses the obstacle of case comparability within cross-country studies. In conclusion, this study holds that the relationship between the mainstream political blocs and refugee reception policy is of associative nature. In order to find significant estimates of seat majorities, the win margin for each bloc needs to be substantial. These results indicate that there is a unified political attitude over the mainstream blocs towards refugee reception and that other factors, and not political seat majorities, have contributed to the uneven distribution of refugees among municipalities in Sweden.

Keywords
Sweden; Mainstream parties; Seat majorities; Local refugee reception; Regression discontinuity design
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-404100 (URN)
Available from: 2020-02-10 Created: 2020-02-10 Last updated: 2020-03-02Bibliographically approved
2. The Power of Shared Narratives: How Perceptions of Local Refugee Reception Facilitate Common Ground for Policy-Making in Small Swedish Municipalities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Power of Shared Narratives: How Perceptions of Local Refugee Reception Facilitate Common Ground for Policy-Making in Small Swedish Municipalities
(English)In: Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

The large variation in refugee reception rates between European nation-states has spurred debate about "responsibility-sharing" in matters of migration. More recently, however, scholars have noted that the variations in refugee reception occur not only between nation-states but also within them at the local level. This study concentrates on four small-sized municipalities in Sweden with 7,500 to 50,000 inhabitants, and with historically divergent approaches to refugee reception. By performing semi-structured interviews with local politicians and bureaucrats, the study aims to contribute new insights into how these actors perceive and explain local refugee reception. This study concludes that there are shared understandings about how refugee reception has been performed locally in the included municipalities. Moreover, the absence (or presence) of prior refugee reception seems to be related to perceptions about institutional capacities and resource availability connected to refugee settlement. In explaining the municipal approach, the narratives consistently point to the importance of experience in the area of refugee reception compared to party representation in the local assembly or resource availability. These results highlight the complexities connected to local refugee reception and how disparities in historical reception rates may affect perceived abilities to host newcomers. Such perceptions might be important to consider in the implementation of a system of equal distribution.

Keywords
Sweden; Local refugee reception; Small-sized municipalities; Municipal reception policy
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-404101 (URN)
Available from: 2020-02-10 Created: 2020-02-10 Last updated: 2020-03-02Bibliographically approved
3. Do Asylum-Seekers Respond to Policy Changes? Evidence from the Swedish-Syrian Case
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Do Asylum-Seekers Respond to Policy Changes? Evidence from the Swedish-Syrian Case
(English)In: Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

This paper uses quasi-experimental evidence to understand how changes in asylum policy affect the number of asylum-seekers. We look specifically at a sudden, regulatory change in the Swedish reception of Syrian asylum-seekers. The change took place in September 2013 and implied that all Syrian asylum-seekers would be granted permanent instead of temporary residence permits. Using high-frequency data and an interrupted time-series set-up, we study the extent to which this change caused more Syrian citizens to apply for asylum in Sweden. The paper provides several new insights: Our estimates show a clear and fast increase in the number of lodged asylum applications in Sweden after the policy change. The increase had implications for the distribution of Syrian asylum-seekers in Europe, but only in the short term. We argue that the lack of a clear long term effect on the European distribution is mainly due to culminating constraints on the Swedish bureaucracy from increasing processing times for Syrian asylum-seekers. Also, the change caused a shift in the share of adult men arriving without a household member, and consequently in the share of refugees applying for family reunification. The effect on family reunification was not limited to the short run but remained stable over the following years.

Keywords
Refugees, Asylum policy, Migration trends, Sweden, Residence permits
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-404102 (URN)
Available from: 2020-02-10 Created: 2020-02-10 Last updated: 2020-03-02Bibliographically approved
4. Limited time or secure residence?: A study on the short-term effects of temporary and permanent residence permits on labour market participation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Limited time or secure residence?: A study on the short-term effects of temporary and permanent residence permits on labour market participation
2018 (English)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala University, 2018. p. 32
Series
Working paper / Department of Economics, Uppsala University (Online), ISSN 1653-6975 ; 2018:17
Keywords
Labour Market Inclusion, Asylum Policy, Sweden, Residence Permits
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-372274 (URN)
Available from: 2019-01-07 Created: 2019-01-07 Last updated: 2020-03-18Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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  • Other style
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Output format
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