Allmänhetens försvarare eller statens förlängda arm?: Lokala antidiskrimineringsbyråers arbete mot diskriminering i Nederländerna
Sammanfattning: Local actors working with human rights and legal aid are common in most countries. One ex-ample is local antidiscrimination agencies which can be found in countries such as Sweden, Spain and the Netherlands. The local antidiscrimination agencies in the Netherlands are inde-pendent organisations, financed by the local municipalities, and their mission is to provide freelegal aid and to monitor discrimination in the country. The aim of this study is to examine how the antidiscrimination agencies in the Netherlands view their work and the role the organisa-tions serve in civil society. Previous research has shown that local organisations working with human rights issues and legal aid are important in the implementation of EU-antidiscrimination directives. Research has also shown that the financial strains on the organisations lead to adaptations of their work by adjusting to market principles or in downscaling the work to their core businesses. The empirical data of this study has been gathered through eleven semi-structured interviews with employees at antidiscrimination agencies in the Netherlands. Using an abductive, theory oriented typological approach, the data has been analysed through the lens of brokerage and organisational differences. Brokerage circles around actors that identifies gaps in order to facil-itate resources to flow across the gaps and connect other actors that wouldn’t otherwise meet. The result of the study shows that the organisations work with brokerage in six different ways, both within the roles as middlemen and catalysts. The result also shows that the actors navigate with trust between different stakeholders, to build trust in relationships with financers and target groups at the same time. A factor which makes their work more complicated. In conclusion the antidiscrimination agencies are brokers, that by connecting people, makes sure that the antidiscrimination legislation is kept alive, being used, and discussed. This opens up interesting questions for further research such as the sociological and psychological aspect of the agencies work and their role in providing a sense of community and trust in society.
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