Horizontal migration governance in Malmö, Sweden : a way towards resilience?
Abstract: This study takes its departure from literature on the vast engagements from civil society during the 2015 ‘refugee crisis’ in Europe as it seeks to understand the status of horizontal migration management at the local level. It takes an in-depth look of Malmö, a city in Sweden which in 2015 became the centre for the Swedish refugee reception and where local civil society actors quickly became key for managing migration. The study identifies challenges and opportunities of horizontal collaborations to develop the social dimension of city resilience. It includes eleven interviews with key actors from the civil society sector as well as from the municipality and utilize theory on solidarities in the ‘refugee crisis’ together with social cohesion and inclusion as a framework for analysing data. This allows for a comprehensive appraisal of the (spatially produced) approaches to migration as well as the relations between the different forms of public and non-public actors. The findings suggest that there are diverse conclusions to be made about the long-term potential of horizontal collaborations in bringing about social resilience. On the one side it is discovered that short-term project collaborations may only serve to ‘fill the gap’ left by neo-liberal local governments and not bring about the structural change needed for social resilience. On the other side, it is found that horizontal collaborations can be a strategy for civil society actors to influence and enact more inclusive, cohesive alternatives by bringing the realities of refugees into local policymaking. Lastly, there are suggestions made for how to enhance the opportunities of horizontal collaborations in creating a socially cohesive, inclusive and thus resilient city.
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