What is the Problem of EBO? A Poststructural Policy Analysis of the Swedish Reception System
Sammanfattning: Sweden was once known for its open and generous refugee reception, with a mindset that was different from its neighbouring countries. However, this has changed in recent years. Due to an increased influx of people seeking asylum in Sweden, restrictive measures were put in place. The political discourse on migration shifted from a welcoming narrative to enforcing border controls and limiting access to welfare for asylum seekers. In 2019, 25 years after the implementation of the Swedish refugee reception, a Government Bill was introduced that proposed a change in the EBO Act which required asylum seekers who live in their own housing (EBO) to live in approved municipalities, or they would lose the right to state subsidies. Drawing on Carol Bacchi’s and Susan Goodwin’s poststructural policy analysis approach along with Carol Bacchi’s policy analysis What’s the Problem Represented to be, this thesis analyses the underlying assumptions of the problem representation of the EBO Act, by challenging the taken-for-granted truth and knowledge regarding EBO. The main findings of this study show three evident problem representations of EBO, that is, it creates an unsustainable reception system, it hinders the integration process for asylum seekers and increases segregation, and negatively effects municipalities. In short, this study contributes to a deeper understanding of how the political discourse regarding EBO is an attempt to make Sweden less attractive so seek asylum in.
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