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State of Control: Unknown Migrant Children

Journal article
Authors Andreas Lundstedt
Published in International migration
ISSN 0020-7985
Publication year 2019
Published at School of Public Administration
Language en
Keywords Migration control, Identification, Child rights, State bureaucracy, Historical institutionalism
Subject categories Public Administration Studies, International Migration and Ethnic Relations


Recently, crises seem to predominate migration policymaking. They are commonly seen as critical junctures which precipitate major policy change. However, rather than creation of something new, crises can instead be vehicles for restoring the order of the past. This article examines the case of asylum‐seeking unaccompanied minors in Sweden, where drastic changes have been made in the aftermath of the perceived “migration crisis” of 2015. Employing historical institutionalist theory, it examines decades of Swedish migration policymaking through analysis of state inquiries, law proposals and court rulings. It argues that the changes introduced 2015 were not qualitatively new, but rather a result of long‐simmering tensions. These tensions lie between state attempts to control migration, particularly of “unidentifiable” individuals, and the rights accorded to migrants. The article shows that Sweden's migration framework of bounded universalism has gradually been altered by tools that categorize migrants, with implications for migration policy as a whole.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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