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The Exceptional State of “Roma Beggars” in Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
2018 (English)In: European Journal of Homelessness, ISSN 2030-2762, E-ISSN 2030-3106, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 15-40Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Across Europe, social-democratic, liberal democracies have become host to growing numbers of impoverished EU migrants (often called “Roma beggars”) who seem to pose a challenge to the tenets of egalitarianism and social protection that are the foundation of the welfare state. Sweden is no exception. Nor has it been exceptional in its response: creating what can be described as a “state of exception” for homeless, impoverished EU migrants wherein they are afforded fewer rights, and almost no access to care, compared to other migrants to the country (such as refugees and asylum seekers). In this paper we examine the nature of this “state of exception” – and consequent denial of rights for poor and homeless EU migrants – and how it has been justified by invoking the inherent fairness of the Swedish system. We do so by reviewing, but especially extending, the Italian philosopher Georgio Agamben’s concepts of state (and space) of exception, bare life, and homo sacer to describe the way homeless EU migrants are understood and treated in Sweden, and then by carefully examining the major policy statement on the matter, the “Valfridsson Report,” which was written to harmonize practices across Swedish jurisdictions while providing the legal basis for making an exception of impoverished EU migrants, and which is now being implemented in law. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 12, no 2, p. 15-40
Keywords [en]
Bare Life, Begging, Homelessness, Roma/Romani, State of Exception, Sweden, Vulnerable EU Citizens
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-360075OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-360075DiVA, id: diva2:1246974
Available from: 2018-09-10 Created: 2018-09-10 Last updated: 2018-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Hansson, ErikMitchell, Don

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