POCKETS OF WEAKNESS IN HIGH-CAPACITY STATES Migrant Labour Exploitation in Sweden

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Author: Po-ts’an Goh; [2019-09-16]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: This thesis explores the uneven reach of a high-capacity state over societal actors. Infrastructural power is the aspect of state capacity that determines how far a bureaucracycan reach into a society. The limited reach over certain societal actors illustrates the variedability of a state’s radiating institutions to regulate social relations. The aim is to examinethe potential factors causing pockets of weakness in a high-capacity state. In the context of labour exploitation of migrant labour in Sweden the limited ability to reach the perpetrators and victims involved are used as examples of pockets of weakness. Semi-structured interviews are conducted with state agents and stakeholders involved in combating labour exploitation and two stakeholder organisations. The main findings underline that the monitoring capacity of the state is being severely restrained by confidentiality laws. Theunwillingness to report to the authorities due to the vulnerability of victims is hamperingmonitoring and sanction capacities. Inadequate state resources (information, money andhuman capital) and constraints on policy instruments (financial incentives, sanctions andpropaganda) are also impeding the ability to combat labour exploitation. Coordinationfailure is discounted as a factor, while discretion and adaptability to political decisionsappear to be more significant in explaining uneven social reach.

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