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The state’s mishandling of immigration to Sweden: How bodies controlling the state frame the problem
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Criminology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many scholars have noted that states consistently violate human rights in relation to asylum seekers. The author asks how the problems related to the situation of current and former residence permit applicants, mostly asylum-seekers, are framed in Sweden by various bodies that exercise control in relation to the state. The analysis focuses on the problem representations found in judgements and reports from, and interviews with, bodies that exercise control of the state, and draws attention to how various control bodies differ in the way they frame the issues in focus. While formal domestic control organs (the Parliamentary Ombudsmen and the Chancellor of Justice) present problems within a bureaucratic frame, the formal international control organs (the UN and the European Court) and informal control organs (NGOs) represents problems within a variety of frames:  the rule of law, protection from other states, positive obligations and non-discrimination, repressive elements and the right to seek asylum. These frames are linked to positions and strategies of the different bodies of control. The analysis highlights how the bodies of control struggle for recognition and legitimacy, how they balance between being “defined out” and “defined in” and how the “doxa” shapes the framings.

National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Criminology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-110049OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-110049DiVA: diva2:768794
Note

Revised manuscript, resubmitted to Crime, Law and Social Change.

Available from: 2014-12-04 Created: 2014-12-04 Last updated: 2014-12-05
In thesis
1. Controlling the Swedish state: Studies on formal and informal bodies of control
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Controlling the Swedish state: Studies on formal and informal bodies of control
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The dissertation aims to develop an understanding of the outcomes and limitations of formal and informal control of the Swedish state, and of the positions and strategies of the social agents involved in this field. The dissertation contributes with new perspectives on controls directed at the state, comparing various control organs (the Parliamentary Ombudsman, the Chancellor of Justice, the United Nations, the European Court of Human Rights and NGOs) and focusing on a wide range of wrongs and harms by the Swedish state.

Paper I explores incidents for which the Swedish state and its agencies have been judged to be responsible by formal control organs. Paper II analyzes the accounts used by state representatives in judgments from formal control organs on issues related to migration. Paper III examines the characteristics of those who hold the state accountable via the European Court. Paper IV explores how formal and informal control organs frame problems in relation to the Swedish state’s treatment of residence permit applicants.

The studies demonstrate that formal domestic control organs mainly direct criticisms at state agencies that focus on particular and procedural issues. International bodies of formal and particularly informal control publish criticisms of the state that focus on general and systemic issues. The dissertation highlights how control organs offer limited access to accountability, and how controls of the state may be perceived as both ineffective and counterproductive. Another conclusion is that the positions and strategies of the agents in this field are dependent on their specific capital (resources, knowledge and support). Control of the state is understood as a field of struggle for recognition and legitimacy, in which accusations are denied by representatives of the state and control organs balance their criticism in order to maintain credibility. Both informal control organs and those who hold the state accountable must adjust to the rules of the game or risk being defined out.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Criminology, Stockholm University, 2014. 86 p.
Series
Avhandlingsserie / Kriminologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 1404-1820 ; 36
Keyword
Parliamentary Ombudsman, Chancellor of Justice, United Nations, European Court of Human Rights, NGOs, control of the state, accountability, state crime, Sweden, techniques of neutralizations, problem representations, immigration
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Criminology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-110050 (URN)978-91-7649-067-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-01-16, hörsal 8, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10 D, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-12-18 Created: 2014-12-04 Last updated: 2014-12-16Bibliographically approved

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