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Sanctuary Practices in Scandinavian Transnational Cities: The Case of Public Libraries
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9509-7340
Lund University, Sweden.
2018 (English)In: Journal of Human Rights Practice, ISSN 1757-9619, E-ISSN 1757-9627Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article explores sanctuary practices within public institutions by examining instances where public libraries in Denmark (Copenhagen), Norway (Oslo) and Sweden (Malmö and Stockholm) open up their services for persons who lack residence permits on state territory (so-called irregular migrants). Public libraries are understood to be protected public spheres where the right to information and the freedom of expression are safeguarded. Such spaces, where rights are provided, as Hannah Arendt famously pointed out in her reflections over statelessness, are primarily open to citizens. Hence, when public libraries offer their services to irregularized migrants, this is a demonstration of how public institutions representing the sovereign may engage in contestations of deportation regimes produced by the sovereign. Such ‘enactments of sanctuary’, or ‘acts of citizenship’ in the city, open up new meanings of Arendt’s notion of ‘the right to have rights’. Through an in-depth case study in Malmö, Sweden, this article suggests that a new role is emerging for municipal institutions as providers of ‘transnational’ rights decoupled from any territorial basis. Rather than being linked to nationhood, the institutional role in democracies may be constitutive of rights in local contexts, in this case the protected right to access library services. An equally progressive development can be found in Norway; however, this is not the case in Denmark which could be understood as a reflection of Denmark’s more restrictive approach to immigration in general.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2018.
Keywords [en]
acts of citizenship; library; local government; regimes; sanctuary; Scandinavian cities
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-147521DOI: 10.1093/jhuman/huy009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-147521DiVA, id: diva2:1200191
Available from: 2018-04-23 Created: 2018-04-23 Last updated: 2018-04-23

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The full text will be freely available from 2020-04-20 16:01
Available from 2020-04-20 16:01

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf