Sovereignty and Bureaucracy in the Official Public Theories of the "Refugee Crisis" of 2015 in Sweden

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

In 2017, the Swedish government published an official report entitled "Att ta emot människor på flykt: Sverige hösten 2015." The report describes how Swedish state agencies, municipalities, and civil society conceptualized and managed the refugee crisis of 2015. This chapter spells out the official public theories expressed in this report and in doing so unfolds two key findings. First, the government and the state saw 2015 as a national security threat and bureaucratic crisis, while the municipalities saw it as a strain on the bureaucracy that was successfully managed, but the lessons and resources of which were lost on the government and the state precisely at the moment when new practices were established that could effectively deal with another mass entry. Second, the municipalities were able to contest the sovereign power of the government to a very limited extent, which is explained through the force of a sovereign prerogative justified through the concept of crisis. Such a use of the concept of crisis is clarified by the political philosophies of the German idealists Hegel and Fichte, and Weber's theory of the bureaucracy. By unearthing these official theories, we are better able to understand the relationship between sovereignty and bureaucracy in determining migration policy in a perceived crisis situation, and the nature of state power in practicing the right of asylum.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch

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