dr hab. Monika Banaś
Research topics
Posthumanism and Transhumanism
Young People and the Future - How Young People Are Constucting Our and Their Future
Symbols in Contemporary Cultures
Political Culture - Theory and Practice
Women in Politics

*******

Research project:
Revision of the Swedish Migrant Integration Policy in the Context of the Migration Crisis after 2010, financed by the Polish National Science Center, registration nr. 2016/23/B/HS5/00140.

Objectives
The research main objective was a critical analysis of the changes introduced after 2010 in the Swedish migrant integration policy. The Swedish integration policy towards migrants implemented in the years 1990 – 2010 did not brought expected results forcing Swedish authorities to revise the policy outlines. Challenges like ghettoization, marginalization and alienation of some migrant communities are high on the governmental agenda. The gap between receiving society and the migrant minorities (particularly the visible minorities) still persist despite significant efforts located in the integration sector. Critical comments of the integration policy come from conservative politicians, conservative media and even inhabitants of areas with percentage of migrants, e.g. Malmö, Växjö, Stockholm-Södertalje.
The research project aimed to analyze the migrant integration process in a broader, Scandinavian perspective which might facilitate to identify fundamental factors for the political idea of integration. Sweden closely cooperating with its Nordic neighbor states also on migration issues got significant criticism from the Danish and Norwegian authorities expressing their concerns on to much liberal Swedish immigration policy.
Changes in the Swedish integration policy started with the terminology used in the integration discourse. One if the examples is the word flykting (refugee) got an alternative of alternativt skyddsbehövande (person in need of alternative shelter). The linguistic modifications and discourse variations related         to migration and integration reflect a revised approach to these two phenomena.

The research project verified the following hypothesis:

Hypothesis 1. distant cultures (from outside Europe) face more difficulties in the process of adaptation and integration. The cultural factor plays here fundamental role and should not be omitted while preparing integration policy outlines. Moreover, a more individualistic approach is needed while addressing integration programs/courses for migrants.

Hypothesis 2. Organizational inefficiencies particularly in regard to allocation of the immigrant groups result in slower adaptation and postponed integration. Allocation and relocation of migrants in regions, cities or villages was conducted according to a paradigm that failed to meet the real needs of both sides: the newcomers and the host (regions, cities, villages). Migrants were often allocated to destinations with good housing infrastructure but also with significant unemployment rates. This led to gradual ghettoization and/or marginalization of migrants hampering integration process or even making               it impossible.

Hypothesis 3. A prolonged state of anticipation for further administrative decision, make the migrants more likely to become passive members of society. In some cases the waiting period varied from 12 to up 24 months. Shortening waiting time for administrative decision, debureaoucratization and simplification of the procedures may speed up the labor market inclusion and as result the integration process.
Hypothesis 4. The system of migrants’ competences and skills recognition does not allow for a quick incorporation of the newcomers into the labor market using their full potential in terms of professional experience.

Project’s practical scope
The project was planned to identify strong and weak sides of the Swedish integration practice being applied since the beginning of the 21st century. The Swedish migrant integration policy is often recognized as one of the best in the world (data by MIPEX 2015). Although being a top example it has weaknesses and ineffective solutions. Thus, a revision of the policy was strongly needed particularly in areas like the law (the legal framework for the admission of immigrants, including refugees), newcomers spatial distribution (allocation of migrants in the municipalities), migration and integration discourse and narratives influencing the general public (modified terminology and naming).
For East-Central European countries becoming for some migrants final destinations, the Swedish case may help in constructing their own integration policies. Extracting only good practices and effective solutions may safe time, effort and money. The research brought answers to the following questions:
- what are the main areas where the integration practices did not bring expected outcomes?
- what are the financial costs of the ineffective practices?
- what are the temporal costs of the ineffective practices?
- what are individual and institutional attitudes among migrant communities towards the new integration regulations?
- what kind of solutions have been applied in the educational system?
- what kind of modified vocational programs are addressed to young adults and adults?
- what kind of repercussions may face migrants who fail to follow the new integration policy regulations?
These basic questions may help collect strategic information for practical reasons correlated with challenges like: aging society, labor force shortages (due to emigration), need for a strong economy based on knowledge, innovation and specialized labor force.

Research work plan

The work plan was divided into the following parts:
1. critical literature analysis on the latest migration flows into and within Europe,
2. critical analysis of literature on the migration crisis after 2010 (political, social and cultural challenges for receiving countries),
3. identification and contact with selected Swedish state representatives responsible of the integration policy implementation,
4. contact with the representatives of the immigrant communities (municipalities with the highest percentage of immigrants),
5. field study in Sweden - cities and municipalities with high percentage of migrants (Stockholm-Södertälje/Stockholm-Rynkeby, Örebro, Växjö, Malmö)
6. data processing from the field study,
7. preparing of a series of scientific articles based on the research, serving as a guideline for governmental institutions and actors engaged in formation of integration policy.

Research Methodology

1. Critical analysis of the Polish, Scandinavian and international literature concerning migration and integration issues, published after 2010,
2. Analysis of documents and reports issued by institutions that undertake migration and integration questions; sources like inter alia: MIPEX – The Migrant Integration Policy Index, Eurostat, IOM – International Organization for Migration, MPI- Migration Policy Institute,
3. Analysis of documents and reports issued by Swedish state authorities on migration and integration processes,
4. Consultations and interviews with Swedish experts and researchers on the revised version of the integration policy (research institutions and universities in four cities: Stockholm, Örebro, Malmö, Växjö),
5. Consultations and interviews with representatives of the state authorities on the regional and local level (four municipalities with the highest immigrant percentage: 1. Stockholm-Södertälje/Stockholm-Rynkeby, 2. Örebro, 3. Växjö, 4. Malmö),
6. In-depth interviews with representatives of the immigrant communities (in four municipalities with the highest immigrant percentage: 1. Stockholm-Södertälje, Stockholm-Rynkeby, 2. Örebro, 3. Växjö,         4. Malmö).

Publications based on the research
1. Culture, Migration-Integration, and Political Discourse [in:] Experience of Otherness. Political Identity and its Reflection in Culture, Literature, Translation and Humanities, eds. Jana Javorčíková, Eva Höhn, Bratislava, UMB, printed by Z-F LINGUA 2018, pp. 18 – 32.
2. Nature – based education in the integration of immigrants. The case of Sweden, IATED 2019, Valencia, pp. 2034 – 2042, ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1.
3. Unaccompanied minors and youth of refugee background in the context of Swedish school reforms    of 2018. Inclusive education for migrants’ integration, IATED 2020, Valencia, pp. 0638 – 0644, ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8.
4. Migrant integration policy in Sweden after 2015 revised, fortcoming


*******

Research:  Swedish Integration Policy Towards Immigrants,  financed by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (2008 - 2010).

        1. Research problem described and analysed in the book Swedish integration policy towards immigrants, Kraków 2010.

The scientific problem analysed in my book refers to immigrant integration policy, with particular focus on the case of Sweden. Immigrant integration policy - generally understood - is based on a specific modelling  of the social space in which newly arrived individuals and groups of different cultures, religions or ethnicity  are very welcome. Together with host society they are stimulated to develop a relationship based on a voluntary, harmonious cooperation, using effectively their potentials like knowledge, skills and experience. The intended effect of such actions is a new public space of high quality that allows each individual to develop and, to actively build a state of common wealth through cooperation with others. Sweden's integration policy is based on this [these assumptions] assumption. Belonging to highly developed countries, Sweden has   for many years occupied a leading position on the human development index (HDI). As a multicultural country, Sweden, tries to reconcile needs and interests of culturally diverse communities living within Swedish society. In comparison with other multicultural and multiethnic societies, Sweden was able - as yet - to avoid dangerous tensions derived from cultural diversity. For better understanding [to better understand] the Swedish case we should look closer at the modus of integration, the institutions involved, financial inputs in promoting a positive attitude towards these activities among the host community and the immigrants themselves.
            Choosing the integration of immigrants as a research problem is supported by several arguments, of which of special importance is aclearly noticeable change  in Polish society as no longer monoethnic, and gradually becoming multiethnic and multicultural. More and more foreigners choose our country for settlement, or as a stop over in their journey  to  another EU country or a country outside Europe. The assumption that in the next decade, Poland will be confronted with growing numbers of immigrants, is not incorrect or baseless. On the contrary - we might expect more and more migrants (immigrants). Thus, it is important to be prepared for such a situation, to develop methods of integrating the newcomers, to build adequate infrastructure, to establish special institutions and create financing systems for integration.
            Polish literature  focusing on Scandinavia includes books and articles on migration, on ethnic diversity and multiculturalism. However, a closer look at these works allows to state that the problem of integration of immigrants in Nordic countries has never been undertaken profoundly. With my book I can say - until now.
            The book has been divided into four parts. The first part contains questions on the theory of the state and culturally diverse society, selected concepts about theory of modern state and society have been presented here, due to the fact that in a democratic regime [system] the state and society are the main actors forming together a specific  model of migration- and integration policies. In this part I also give examples of a diversity of thoughts in the area of ​​political science concerning how to form a coherent, integrated society constituted [built] of culturally heterogeneous groups.
            In the second part of the book I describe processes of migration and integration in Europe and outside our continent. Labour migration has been embedded in a broader global context to show the specificity of contemporary migration, emerging modern migration trends and the problems arising from the interactions between host communities and incoming individuals/groups. European countries (states) try to meet this challenge, both together and separately, constructing rules for social, economic, political and religious interactions. These rules do not always give a positive effect, leading to complications and problems of various  nature (the case of Arab immigrants in France, Africans in Italy and the Turkish minority in Germany, may serve here as an exemplification of the problems).  In this part of the book      I also gave a detailed description of Sweden as a state,  regarded as an excellent example of good, effective integration practices (according to MIPEX). In my opinion, the reason for such specific state of affairs originates in actions undertaken not in the last few decades, but rather in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century when the foundations of the later welfare state had been laid. The idea of folkhemmet, explains the concept of arranging  a common area, where every individual and every group despite [regardless] of their origin is treated equally and with the same respect.
            The third part of the book contains an analysis of the problems  connected with Swedish migration and integration policies, actors and institutions coordinating and shaping integration processes. It describes the following areas of integration: housing, education and training, evaluation of professional competence of the labour force and health care. Given the title of the book, this is the most important part of the work, because it shows in detail the rules for implementing the objectives of integration policies as well as their effects.
            The fourth part contains material from empirical research I conducted in Sweden. Interviews with immigrants’ representatives, with leaders of local communities, with officials involved in  integration procedures provided valuable information directly from practitioners and moderators of various integration activities. I have supplemented this knowledge with information obtained via participation in the national conference on integration policy effectiveness, held in Gothenburg in November 2009.

            2. Research method and reference sources

            The methodology of this advanced research is based on three elements: 1) analysis of carefully selected literature on theory of migration, integration, state and society, 2) analysis of documents, government reports, reports of other institutions and NGOs involved in the integration of immigrants, 3) interviews and study-visits in four Swedish municipalities with the largest immigrant population.
            The full list of literature, documents and written sources has been placed in the bibliography at the end of the book. Here I give a few examples of papers and texts, which built the basis for this study and are a starting point for further, more advanced research. Andrew Geddes The Politics of Migration and Immigration in Europe, (London 2003), Robert Miles and Dietrich Tränhardt, Migration and European Integration. The Dynamics of Inclusion and Exclusion (London 1995), John Rex, The Problematic of Multi-National and Multi-Cultural Societies in "Ethnic and Social Studies" (1997), David Coleman, International Migrants in Europe: Adjustments and Integration Processes and Policies in "International Migration: Regional Processes and Responses"(United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, 1994) , Eytan Meyers, Theories of International Immigration Policies - A Comparative Analysis on "International Migration Review" (Vol. 34, no. 4/2000, ss.1245-1282), James Hollifield The Emerging Migration State in "International Migration Review" (Vol.38, No.3/2004, ss.885-912), Douglas Massey (eds.) Worlds in Motion. Understanding International Migration at the End of the Millennium (Oxford 2005) and Phillip Legrain Immigrants. Your Country Needs Them, (London 2006).
            The most important of the major Swedish and Nordic references are as follows: Integration - en beskrivning av läget i Sverige, Statistiska centralbyrån 2008, Integrationspolitikens resultat - på väg mot ett samlat system for uppföljning och analys vid 16 statliga myndigheter, Integrationsverkets Rapportserie 2007:05, Rapport Integration 2005, Integrationsverket  Integration och jämdställdhet i Norden, Nordisk Ministerråd 2004, Invandringens velferdpolitiske konsekvenser, Nordisk Ministerråd 2005, Mangkulturalism ifrågasatt. Jämförande studie av integrationspolitiken i fem länder, Lillemor Sahlberg, Integrationsverket Rapportserie 2007: 01.
            The third component of the method applied is based on interviews I conducted  with representatives of the institutions involved in implementation of integration policy and on visits in selected communities with high percentages of immigrants (municipalities Malmö, Södertälje, Rinkeby-Huddinge and Växjö). Especially valuable for my research were meetings and interviews with people working with immigrants on the “grass roots” level.
            Apart from this, I have supplemented my knowledge of Swedish integration by consulting scientists from the Universities of Malmo and Stockholm, who deal with  complexities of Swedish economy& politics.
            Significant contribution for completing materials for this book came from my participation  in the conference  “Integration 2009”, which took place in Gothenburg in November 2009. The event became a forum for sharing information and experience related to integration practices and their results. More than 350 participants from different institutions (municipalities, educational institutions, public and private firms) were given the opportunity to listen and discuss  about  practical aspects of integration. The conference concluded with an overview on the costs, effectiveness and challenges for the Swedish state and society in terms of receiving and integrating immigrants.
            To sum up, the scientific problem analysed in my book refers to integration policy, with particular focus on the case of Sweden. As becomes evident from this book the Swedish integration model seems to be effective and may serve as a good example for building national programs for countries like Poland - less experienced in terms of immigration and integration.

Jagiellonian University
Faculty of International and Political Studies
Institute of Intercultural Studies
Cracow, Poland