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Integration Policy in Denmark: Between the Paradigm Shift and the Ghetto Law

The Nordic countries have chosen different approaches to migration and integration. Concerning immigration and access, Denmark has gained a reputation as one of the strictest in Europe. Following the arrival of high numbers of refugees in 2015 and 2016, designing and implementing appropriate integration policies for promoting inclusion have become even more crucial.

Over the last couple of years, the Danish parliament has passed a law to abolish so-called "ghettos" and a reform package which amended legislation on foreigners, integration and repatriation.

The bill, referred to by policymakers themselves as a paradigm shift, introduces among other initiatives a principle of temporary of protection for all spontaneous asylum seekers as well as resettled refugees in Denmark, and a substantial decrease in social benefits for refugees now renamed "return support".

In this guest lecture, Romana Careja will elaborate on these latest changes in Danish government’s approach to integration, highlighting the changes’ stated rationale as well as the tensions and challenges they raise.

Romana Careja is Associate Professor at the Political Science Department of Southern Denmark University. She obtained her PhD in 2009 at the University of Bern, working with Klaus Armingeon.

Ever since, her research has explored various facets of the impact migration has on European societies: changes in social and labour market policies, changes in attitudes and policy preferences, and local-level actors’ involvement in implementation of integration measures.

Her work is published International Migration Review, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of European Social Policy and Scandinavian Political Studies.