This course addresses the challenges and opportunities that immigration constitutes to the Nordic welfare state. In recent decades, the growth of immigrant groups in Europe has influenced public discussions about social cohesion and welfare state sustainability. Concern with unemployment, socio-economic gaps, ethnic fragmentation of cities, unrest in the streets and perceived illiberal beliefs and cultural practices within immigrant communities have turned into a widespread sense of integration failure.
Immigration has introduced considerable ethno-cultural heterogeneity into the Nordic societies as well as an increase in low-skilled labour. The structural of pressure of immigration is to some extent felt by most Western economies; yet, the Nordic welfare states are particularly vulnerable because of their comparatively strong redistributive schemes and high wages. Some also argue that cultural diversity is especially problematic for the Nordic welfare state, because cultural sameness creates the trust and solidarity that make citizens accept a strong, interventionist state that requires a large portion of the national income to help secure a large work force, employment, and equality.
Throughout the course, we will compare the policy experiences of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. The course is divided into three main sections. First, we look at the push and pull mechanisms of migration. Why do individuals choose to migrate and what decides where they want to go? We look at both historical and future migration patterns to the Nordic welfare states. Second, we examine the integration strategies of immigrants and how certain policies may support and motivate or be a barrier to their integration efforts. Third, we will discuss the consequences of increasing ethnic diversity for the economy of the Nordic welfare states and the attitudes of the majority population but also how the Nordic welfare state itself helps to shape the identities, values and welfare state attitudes of immigrants.
Lectures combined with exercises.
|Name of exam
|Immigration and the Nordic Welfare State
|Type of exam
|7-point grading scale
|Type of grading
|Criteria of assessment
|The criteria of assessment are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures
|Immigration og den nordiske velfærdsstat
|Language of instruction
|Location of the lecture
|Responsible for the module
|Study Board of Politics and Society
|Department of Politics and Society
|Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities