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The Exclusion of ’Immigrants’ in Swedish Politics: The Case of Political Parties
Linköping University, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (REMESO)
2006 (English)In: , 2006Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Official declarations state that Sweden is today a multicultural society. At the same time, ethnic hierarchies have been become increasingly conspicuous in contemporary Sweden. The labour and housing markets, the mass media and politics, the educational and justice systems – all of these arenas are in various ways clearly stratified along ethnic and racial lines (SOU 2005: 56). This alarming situation have recently led to the appointment of a governmental inquiry with the task of illuminating in more detail the nature of structural discrimination on ethnic and religious grounds in Swedish society (Dir. 2004: 54). One of the reports of the Inquiry (Dahlstedt & Hertzberg, 2005) specifically discusses the relationship between the multi-ethnic composition of the Swedish population and the distribution of power and the exercise of political influence. Here, I intend to present some conclusions from my own research on the inclusion of “immigrants” in Swedish political parties (Dahlstedt, 2005) and relate these to some of the main arguments presented in the report. One of the main conclusions drawn is that all citizens that participate in public life are faced with a series of routines, conventions and more or less taken-for-granted ideas categorising citizens according to their perceived closeness to a Swedish “normality”. Democracy thus not only constitute a formalised system of impartial procedures and conventions, routines and norms, regulating decision-making and the formulation of opinion in a way that guarantees freedom and equality to all participants on various domains of public life. Participation on different public arenas rather reflects more or less openly excluding practices, long well documented in for example the housing and labour markets. In the report, corresponding practices are also illuminated in the domain of Swedish politics, for instance in field of local politics and within leading social movements, such as the labour union and adult education movement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
multiculturalism, exclusion, migrants, political parties, Sweden
National Category
International Migration and Ethnic Relations
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-80028OAI: diva2:545071
International Forum on the Social Science – Policy Nexus, 20-24 februari, Buenos Aires
Available from: 2012-08-17 Created: 2012-08-17

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Dahlstedt, Magnus
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REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and SocietyDepartment of Social and Welfare StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
International Migration and Ethnic Relations

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