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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. (Välfärdsrätt)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9509-7340
Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
2018 (English)In: Journal of Human Rights Practice, ISSN 1757-9619, E-ISSN 1757-9627, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 142-158Article 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) open up their services for persons who lack residence permits on state territory (so-called irregular migrants). Public libraries in this study are understood to be public spheres where the right to information and the freedom of expression are safeguarded. Such spheres, where rights are provided are primarily open to citizens or other people with authorised residence. Hence, when public libraries offer their services to irregular 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’, we argue, open up new meanings of Arendt’s notion of ‘the right to have rights’. Through an in-depth case study in Malmö, Sweden, the article suggests that a new role is emerging for local 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 the present context: the right to equal access to information and freedom of expression. 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. Vol. 10, no 1, p. 142-158
Keywords [en]
Acts of citizenship; regimes; library; local government; sanctuary; Scandinavian cities
National Category
Information Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-150109DOI: 10.1093/jhuman/huy009ISI: 000433280100008Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85047878278OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-150109DiVA, id: diva2:1238292
Projects
Undocumented migrants' rights claims
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2012-683Available from: 2018-08-13 Created: 2018-08-13 Last updated: 2018-08-23Bibliographically approved

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Lundberg, Anna

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CiteExportLink to record
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Output format
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