Egalitarianism Under Siege? Swedish Refugee Reception and Social Trust

  • Kjell Hansen
Part of the Approaches to Social Inequality and Difference book series (ATSIAD)


The large numbers of refugees arriving in Sweden in 2015 put a great strain on the welfare system. Initially the reception showed that the idea of the retraction of the welfare state was an exaggeration. State, regional, municipal and civil society organizations all showed they had the faculty to deal with arising problems. The chapter discusses the reception process and its transformation, showing how what was feared would grow into a crisis for the welfare system, instead grew into an initial integration process but with growing tensions between civil society and the state.

The reception of refugees has brought moral questions into the political debate. The real crisis emerging from the great influx of migrants thus seems not to be the one linked to the refugees themselves, but rather to the changes in the relationships building social trust in Swedish society, i.e., the egalitarian base itself.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kjell Hansen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Urban and Rural DevelopmentSaint Louis University (SLU)UppsalaSweden

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