Two Tales of Viking Diversity: A Comparative Study of the Immigrant Integration Policies of Denmark and Sweden,1960-2006

Mahama Tawat
2011 Social Science Research Network  
The perspective of this dissertation is a comparison between the integration policies of Denmark and Sweden between 1960, when there was a shift toward non-Nordic and non-European immigration, and 2006. The two countries' policies continued to diverge in the cultural integration domain. In Denmark, ideas stemming from a policy legacy, and promoting the national culture, prevented multiculturalism from taking root. In Sweden, it was-above all-Olof Palme, the slain activist, in his capacity as
more » ... ister of Culture and Prime Minister, who engineered the advent of multiculturalism. Danish policy makers chose a policy of toleration. That is, the disapproval of immigrants' cultural practices in the public sphere but the non-interference of the state in the private sphere as long as these practices did not harm the majority. In Sweden, the cultural embeddedness of immigrants was promoted until the mid-1990s. After that time ethnocultural diversity was portrayed as a source of cultural enrichment, a remedy against racism and xenophobia, and lastly as a means of taking advantage of globalization especially in economic terms. Their policies converged in the socioeconomic and political integration domains. Both states sought to maximize their interests by emphasizing employment and self-help among immigrants, but they continued to consolidate immigrants' socioeconomic rights, mainly through anti-discrimination policies. Despite the fear of globalization, a rise in the number of refugees, and xenophobia from the 1990s onwards, all these policies were "locked" in their trajectories. Total number of words: 95, 914.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.2052017 fatcat:r73z2rloxrcelajlrjtk4wyfte