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Election 2018: The Sweden Democrats and the 'Others': Far-right populist messages about migrants and asylum seekers
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Following the peak of the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ in 2015, Swedish decision makers moved to significantly shift the country’s migration policies in a restrictive direction, parting from a history of generous policies. Since then, Swedish public opinion has grown increasingly negative towards accepting asylum seekers, with the number of individuals for severely restricting Sweden’s intake of asylum seekers doubling since 2015, from 20 % to 41 %. One of the possible reasons for this may involve far-right populism swaying public opinion and political discourse towards more anti-immigration tendencies. In Sweden, the most influential far-right political actor is the Sweden Democrats (SD). Since gaining entry into parliament in 2010, the party has grown in popularity and seen success in mobilizing support for its nationalist and anti- immigration policies.

This master thesis studies how SD portrays migrants and asylum seekers in the run-up to the September 2018 Swedish election. Using ‘othering’ and ‘securitization of migration’ theory, the thesis analyzes material that concerns or has been published by SD, such as policy papers, interviews and promotional videos.

The thesis demonstrates and concludes that SD paints an image of a Swedish society in free-fall, where the welfare system is falling apart, crime is rampant and terrorism is a reality. SD blames the government’s ‘irresponsible’ migration policies for these problems and, consequently, immigrants themselves. In order to mitigate these issues, Sweden must severely restrict its migration policies. To garner support for its perception of migrants and asylum seekers as the problem, SD categorizes some immigrants as the ‘others’, classifying them as unwelcome outsiders who constitute a burden on the welfare state. SD attempts to ‘securitize’ the migration issue, framing migration as a security threat that must be dealt with for the protection of the country. Framing migration using such rhetoric may affect the public perception of those fleeing to Sweden to seek safe haven, and thereby impacting Sweden’s humanitarian response.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Sweden Democrats, Othering, Securitization, Migration
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-356466OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-356466DiVA, id: diva2:1235862
Subject / course
International Humanitarian Action
Educational program
Master Programme in Humanitarian Action and Conflict
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-08-16 Created: 2018-07-28 Last updated: 2018-08-16Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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