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Nordic Vagabonds: The Roma and the Logic of Benevolent Violence in the Swedish Welfare State
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2017 (English)In: European Journal of Criminology, ISSN 1477-3708, E-ISSN 1741-2609, Vol. 14, no 1, 120-139 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, control of the mobile poor is often driven by the needs and demands of the welfare state itself and follows a different logic outside the neoliberal paradigm. By examining the case of the Roma, EU citizens who travel to Sweden to ask for money on the streets, we can see the expansion and retraction of the criminal law as the government responds to new forms of migration and poverty in its society. The government’s mixed responses – no to bans on begging, but yes to evictions – are the result of dualities inherent in Nordic welfare states, when their inclusionary ameliorative dimensions collide with their exclusionary and nationalistic tendencies. This article proposes the term benevolent violence to conceptualize this duality. It occurs when coercive means are used to uphold the state’s ameliorative goals and when the state’s ameliorative practices have violent effects. In the case of the Roma, it means protecting them from their own livelihood and it means protecting the welfare state for nationals, keeping it solvent for members.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 14, no 1, 120-139 p.
Keyword [en]
Benevolent violence, crimmigration, migration controls, Nordic exceptionalism, Roma, welfare state
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Criminology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-138983DOI: 10.1177/1477370816640141ISI: 000394789300008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-138983DiVA: diva2:1070122
Available from: 2017-01-31 Created: 2017-01-31 Last updated: 2017-04-03Bibliographically approved

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Barker, Vanessa
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