‘Only Volunteers’? Personal Motivations and Political Ambiguities Within the Refugees Welcome to Malmö Civil Initiative

  • Maja Povrzanović FrykmanEmail author
  • Fanny Mäkelä


Between 7 September and 12 November 2015, approximately 800 volunteers met up to 1000 refugees a day under the banner of Refugees Welcome to Malmö, at Malmö Central train station as the first point of the asylum seekers’ arrival in Sweden. Based on in-depth interviews, this chapter analyzes the volunteers’ motivations, experiences and ambiguities, against the background of a specific historical, organizational and local context in which this grassroots initiative emerged. Special attention is paid to the volunteers’ perceptions of their work and to collaborations and conflicts with other actors in the field. The analysis of the volunteers’ positions toward the politicization of a civil initiative points to the need for city context-sensitive research on the changing constellations of actors who provide support to refugees.


Refugees Civil initiatives Volunteering Motivations Refugees Welcome to Malmö Sweden Autumn 2015 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Global Political StudiesMalmö UniversityMalmöSweden

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