Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5959bf8d4d-dtbwl Total loading time: 0.327 Render date: 2022-12-08T04:16:47.010Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Constrained Politics: Labour Market Actors, Political Parties and Swedish Labour Immigration Policy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 January 2017

Abstract

Sweden used to be one of the most restrictive countries in the Organisation of Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) in terms of labour immigration policy. This was drastically changed in 2008 when a very liberal immigration law was passed. Why did one of the most restrictive labour immigration countries suddenly become one of the most liberal ones? The article argues that it is necessary to consider labour market institutions and their consequences for labour migration. These factors will influence the preferences, strategies and chances of success for various policy actors. A decline in union power and corporatism in Sweden had important consequences for its labour immigration. Following this decline, employers and centre-right parties became more active and adopted more liberal policy positions than previously. The article analyses policy developments since the 1960s and draws on official documents, position statements, party manifestos, media coverage and original elite interviews.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s). Published by Government and Opposition Limited and Cambridge University Press 2017 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

*

Frida Boräng is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Quality of Government Institute at the University of Gothenburg. Contact email: frida.borang@pol.gu.se.

Lucie Cerna is an Analyst in the Directorate for Education and Skills of the OECD, Paris and a Research Associate at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, Oxford. Contact email: lucie.cerna@jesus.oxon.org. The views in this article are my own and should not be regarded as representing the views of the OECD or COMPAS.

References

Bartram, D. (2005), International Labour Migration: Foreign Workers and Public Policy (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berg, L. and Spehar, A. (2013), ‘Swimming Against the Tide: Why Sweden Supports Increased Labour Mobility Within and from Outside the EU’, Policy Studies, 34(2): 142161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boräng, F. (2015), ‘Large-Scale Solidarity? Effects of Welfare State Institutions on the Admission of Forced Migrants’, European Journal of Political Research, 54: 216231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boräng, F. (Forthcoming), National Institutions: International Migration. Labour Markets, Welfare States and Immigration Policy (Colchester: ECPR Press).Google Scholar
Borevi, K. (2012), ‘Sweden: The Flagship of Multiculturalism’, in G. Brochmann and A. Hagelund (eds), Immigration Policy and the Scandinavian Welfare State 1945–2010 (London: Palgrave Macmillan): 2596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boswell, C. and Geddes, A. (2011), Migration and Mobility in the European Union (London: Palgrave Macmillan).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brandorf, M., Esaiasson, P. and Håkansson, N. (1996), ‘Svenska valfrågor. Partiernas valdebatt 1902–1994’, Statsvetenskaplig tidskrift, 99: 136.Google Scholar
Brochmann, G. and Hammar, T. (1999) (eds), Mechanisms of Immigration Control: A Comparative Analysis of European Regulation Policies (Oxford: Berg).Google Scholar
Bucken-Knapp, G. (2009), Defending the Swedish Model: Social Democrats, Trade Unions and Labour Migration Policy Reform (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books).Google Scholar
Castles, S. and Kosack, G. (1973), Immigrant Workers and Class Structure in Western Europe (London: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
Centre Party (1970), ’Jämlikhet och trygghet i ett decentraliserat samhälle’, Partiprogram antaget av riksstämma i Göteborg den 5-6 mars 1970, party manifesto.Google Scholar
Centre Party (1981), Partiprogram, party manifesto.Google Scholar
Cerna, L. (2009), ‘The Varieties of High-Skilled Immigration Policies: Coalitions and Policy Outputs in Advanced Industrial Countries’, Journal of European Public Policy, 16(1): 144161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cerna, L. (2014), ‘Attracting High-Skilled Immigrants: Policies in Comparative Perspective’, International Migration, 52(3): 6984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cerna, L. (2016), Immigration Policies and the Global Competition for Talent (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chaloff, J., Dumont, J. and Liebig, T. (2012), ‘The Impact of the Economic Crisis on Migration and Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants in OECD Countries’, CESifo DICE Report, 10(1): 3947.Google Scholar
Chiswick, B. (2005), ‘High-Skilled Immigration in the International Arena’, IZA Discussion Paper 1782 (Bonn: IZA).Google Scholar
Dahlström, C. (2004), ‘Almost Welcome: Rhetoric and Practice in Immigrant Policy’, Göteborg Studies in Politics, 87.Google Scholar
Demker, M. and Malmström, C. (1999), Ingenmansland? Svensk immigrationspolitik i utrikespolitisk belysning (Lund: Studentlitteratur).Google Scholar
EMN (2007), Conditions of Entry and Residence of Third Country Highly-Skilled Workers in the EU, EMN Synthesis report (Brussels: Home Affairs).Google Scholar
Freeman, G. (1995), ‘Modes of Immigration Politics in Liberal Democratic States’, International Migration Review, 29(4): 881902.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Green-Pedersen, C. and Krogstrup, J. (2008), ‘Immigration as a Political Issue in Denmark and Sweden’, European Journal of Political Research, 47: 610634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Green-Pedersen, C. and Odmalm, P. (2008), ‘Going Different Ways? Right-wing Parties and the Immigrant Issue in Denmark and Sweden’, Journal of European Public Policy, 15(3): 367381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hammar, T. (1985) (ed.), European Immigration Policy: A Comparative Study (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hammar, T. (1999), ‘Closing the Doors to the Swedish Welfare State’, in G. Brochmann and T. Hammar (eds), Mechanisms of Immigration Control: A Comparative Analysis of European Regulation Policies (Oxford: Berg): 169203.Google Scholar
Hansen, R. (2016), ‘Making Immigration Work: How Britain and Europe Can Cope with Their Immigration Crises’, Government and Opposition: An International Journal of Comparative Politics, 51(2): 183208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Haus, L. (2002), Unions, Immigration and Internationalization: New Challenges and Changing Coalitions in the United States and France (New York: Palgrave Macmillan).Google Scholar
Hiscox, M. (2001), ‘Class Versus Industry Cleavages: Inter-Industry Factor Mobility and the Politics of Trade’, International Organisation, 55(1): 146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johansson, J. (2012), ‘Swedish Employers and Trade Unions, Varieties of Capitalism and Labour Migration Policies’, Nordic Journal of Migration Research, 2(4): 325334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Katzenstein, P. (1985), Small States in World Markets (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press).Google Scholar
Kenworthy, L. (2003), ‘Quantitative Indicators of Corporatism’, International Journal of Sociology, 33(3): 1044.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kitschelt, H. (1994), The Transformation of European Social Democracy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kjellberg, A. (2009), ‘The Swedish Model of Industrial Relations: Self-Regulation and Combined Centralisation-Decentralisation’, in C. Phelan (ed.), Trade Unionism since 1945: Towards a Global History. Volume 1: Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East (Oxford: P.I.E-Peter Lang): 155197.Google Scholar
Kjellberg, A. (2011), ‘The Decline in Swedish Union Density since 2007’, Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 1(1): 6793.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kjellberg, A. (2015), ‘Kollektivavtalens täckningsgrad samt organisationsgraden hos arbetsgivarförbund och fackförbund’, Studies in Social Policy, Industrial Relations, Working Life and Mobility Research Reports, 2013: 1 (updated 21 September 2015).Google Scholar
Kunkel, C. and Pontusson, J. (1998), ‘Corporatism versus Social Democracy: Divergent Fortunes of the Austrian and Swedish Labour Movements’, West European Politics, 21(2): 131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Larsson, M. (2010), Facklig anslutning år 2010. Facklig anslutning bland anställda efter klass och kön år 1990–2010 (kvartal 1) (Stockholm: LO).Google Scholar
Liberal People’s Party (1968), Motion i AK, nr 1294 (Party Bill, Second Chamber, no. 1294).Google Scholar
Lindvall, J. and Sebring, J. (2005), ‘Policy Reform and the Decline of Corporatism in Sweden’, West European Politics, 28(5): 10571074.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lindvall, J. and Rothstein, B. (2006), ‘Sweden: The Fall of the Strong State’, Scandinavian Political Studies, 29(1): 4763.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Loxbo, K. and Sjölin, M. (2016), ‘Parliamentary Opposition on the Wane? The Case of Sweden, 1970–2014’, Government and Opposition: An International Journal of Comparative Politics’, published early online, February, doi: 10.1017/gov.2015.39.Google Scholar
Lundqvist, T. (2004), ‘Organized Interests, Labour Market and Migration: The Swedish Model’, paper presented at the 2nd Stockholm Workshop on Global Migration Regimes, Institute for Futures Studies, 11–13 June.Google Scholar
Ministry of Justice (2001), Sweden in 2000: A Country of Migration (Stockholm: Ministry for Foreign Affairs).Google Scholar
Ministry of Justice (2006), ‘Arbetskraftsinvandring till Sverige’, Slutbetänkande av Kommittén för arbetskraftsinvandring, SOU 2006:87.Google Scholar
Moderates (1968), Motion i FK, nr. 1023 (Party Bill, First Chamber, no. 1023).Google Scholar
Moderates (Various years), Valmanifest 1970, 1973, 1976, 1979, 1982, 1985, 1988, party manifestos.Google Scholar
Odmalm, P. (2011), ‘Political Parties and “the Immigration Issue”: Issue Ownership in Swedish Parliamentary Elections 1991–2010’, West European Politics, 34(5): 10701091.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
OECD (2011), Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Sweden (Paris: OECD).Google Scholar
Oskarson, M. and Demker, M. (2015), ‘Room for Realignment: The Working-Class Sympathy for Sweden Democrats’, Government and Opposition: An International Journal of Comparative Politics, 50: 629651.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Penninx, R. and Roosblad, J. (2000) (eds), Trade Unions, Immigration and Immigrants in Europe 1960–1993 (New York: Berghahn Books).Google Scholar
Pontusson, J. and Swenson, P. (1996), ‘Labour Markets, Production Strategies, and Wage-Bargaining Institutions: Swedish Employers’ Offensive in Comparative Perspective’, Comparative Political Studies, 29(2): 223250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Prop. 2007/08:147. Nya regler för arbetskraftsinvandring [New rules for labour migration], Justitiedepartementet [Ministry of Justice]. Available at: www.regeringen.se/sb/d/9528/a/104328.Google Scholar
Regeringen (2008), New Rules for Labour Immigration (Stockholm: Government Offices of Sweden).Google Scholar
Rose, J. and Chaison, G. (1996), ‘Linking Union Density and Union Effectiveness: The North American Experience’, Industrial Relations, 35(1): 78105.Google Scholar
Schierup, C.-U. and Ålund, A. (2011), ‘The End of Swedish Exceptionalism? Citizenship, Neoliberalism and the Politics of Exclusion’, Race Class, 53(1): 4564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Storrie, D. (2005), ‘Increasing Labour Supply Through Economic Migration: Statements and Comments’, conference review on Increasing Labour Supply through Economic Migration, Ireland, 23–24 June, http://pdf.mutual-learning-employment.net/pdf/05_irland/SE_Storrie.pdf.Google Scholar
Swedish Migration Board (2011), ‘Beviljade uppehållstillstånd 1980–2010’, www.migrationsverket.se.Google Scholar
Visser, J. (2013), Database on Institutional Characteristics of Trade Unions, Wage Setting, State Intervention and Social Pacts (ICTWSS) in 34 Countries between 1960 and 2007, Version 4.Google Scholar
Waara, J. (2012), ‘Svenska Arbetsgivareföreningen och arbetskraftsinvandringen 1945–1972’, Gothenburg Studies in Economic History, 7.Google Scholar
Wadensjö, E. (2009), ‘Emigration and Immigration from and to the Nordic Countries in a Long-term Comparative Perspective’, paper presented at ‘American Dilemma? Race, Ethnicity and Welfare States in the U.S., Europe and the Nordic Countries’, University of Southern Denmark, 1–3 October.Google Scholar
Watts, J. (2002), Immigration Policy and the Challenge of Globalization: Unions and Employers in Unlikely Alliance (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press).Google Scholar
7
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Constrained Politics: Labour Market Actors, Political Parties and Swedish Labour Immigration Policy
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Constrained Politics: Labour Market Actors, Political Parties and Swedish Labour Immigration Policy
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Constrained Politics: Labour Market Actors, Political Parties and Swedish Labour Immigration Policy
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *