Advanced Legal Practices in the Welfare State: A Study of Displacements of the Right to Social Assistance for Undocumented Persons and Poor EU Citizens, in Three Swedish Municipalities

Anna Lundberg, Pia Kjellbom, Ulrika Wernesjö

Forskningsoutput: Kapitel i bok/rapport/Conference proceedingKonferenspaper i proceeding


Abstract The aim of this three-year research project is to investigate displacements, i.e. changes in the right to housing and food according to the Swedish Social Service Act between 1982-2018, and its implications for the broader issue of social rights in the welfare state. This is done through the notion of advanced legal practices, which refer to incidents where the dominant current law is contested in legal interpretation and application and this involves a transformation of the legal content. Focus of the project is the right to basic social assistance, which comprises emergency aid, including food and housing, for vulnerable EU migrants and undocumented persons. Special focus is children’s situation. Advanced legal practices emerge at different levels and in various juridical spaces, for example when a decision-maker or judge disregards certain conditions or allows jurisdictions to interact in new ways. An example is a resent ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court’s HFD 2017 ref 33, which, through a re- interpretation of the linkage between the Social Service Act and Law on the reception of asylum seekers, destabilized the basic responsibility of the municipalities to provide emergency aid for everyone residing on their territory. Regardless of the underlying motives, advanced legal practitioners have consequences for individuals as well as for social rights in general. It is therefore important to understand why and how such practices emerge. The study concentrates on two basic social rights (food and housing) and two groups whose legal status in Sweden is ambiguous. Empirical material are 200 administrative court judgments, individual and group interviews, and local guidelines in three Swedish municipalities of different size with experience of EU-migration and refugee reception – Malmö, Norrköping and Älmhult. Our knowledge acquisition is a dialectic process through continuous collaboration with professionals. An exploration of the law enforcement over time in three municipalities, guided by approaches within legal geography, spatial and temporal dimensions of law are demonstrated.
Undertitel på värdpublikationUnderstanding International Migration in the 21st Century: Conceptual and Methodological Approaches
StatusPublished - 2019
Externt publiceradJa
EvenemangImiscoe: 16th Annual Conference in Malmö - Malmö University, Malmö, Sverige
Varaktighet: 2019 juni 262019 juni 28


KonferensImiscoe: 16th Annual Conference in Malmö

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Juridik och samhälle
  • Internationell Migration och Etniska Relationer (IMER)
  • Socialt arbete


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