Broken Solidarity: The Refugees Welcome Movement in Sweden 2015-2020
Abstract: This qualitative inquiry explores and describes the Refugees Welcome movement in Sweden from 2015 to 2020 by exploring how people became volunteers, their motivation and experience while at the same time describing events, sceneries, and context with the help of their stories. The empirical material consists of 25 interviews with 20 interviewees, the theoretical perspectives come from the fields of volunteering, civil society, and social movements. A thematic analysis is the method used and the results are presented as part 1 Refugees Welcome to Malmö during the refugee crisis in the fall of 2015, and part 2 with the post-2015 Refugees Welcome initiatives separated by the establishment of checkpoints. The volunteers paint a picture of civil society handling an international issue in a globalized world, and what happens when that globalized world closes. The conclusion is that when the states of Europe introduced checkpoints it drastically changed the context of the opportunities to help refugees, cutting off networks of solidarity from the Mediterranean Sea to Malmö Central Station, and when the local authorities took over the responsibility for the refugee reception they cut off civil society and killing the engagement of the volunteers.
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