Att värna demokratin. Kommunala tjänstepersoners konstruktioner av demokrati, rättigheter och medborgarskap i det kommunala arbetet med återvändare och islamistisk våldsbejakande extremism
Sammanfattning: This thesis investigates how the problem with so called returnees (återvändare) and violent extremism (våldsbejakande extremism) is constructed in the municipal work with and against the same in Sweden, using Carol Bacchi’s and Susan Goodwin’s Foucaultdian approach to policy analysis – the so-called “what’s the problem represented to be?” approach – as its primary method. The purpose is to explore how Swedish ideas of democracy are formed, strengthened and challenged, and what effects this may have on notions of citizenship and human rights. Sara Ahmed’s concept of emotional economies (2014), Judith Butler’s concept of grievable lives (2016), and Jasbir K. Puar’s understandings of affective politics (2007) serve as central analytical tools.The main material used in this study is interview transcriptions from interviews with seven civil servants working with violent extremism in different ways. In order to put their testimonies in context, texts originating from Swedish newspapers and public service has been included in the analysis, such as commentaries, newspaper columns, contributions to public debate and news articles, as well as documentation and instructions from the former National Coordinator against Violent Extremism (Nationella Samordnaren mot Våldsbejakande Extremism). The analysis shows that the problem of violent extremism is constructed with a normative understanding of democracy, which affects which individuals are deemed “inside” or “outside” the borders of democracy, and which individuals uphold the “right” principles of democracy. The problem representation is fixed on certain individuals who the civil servants have found it difficult to locate in their work, since the problem is constructed through security policy incompatible with the public duty (defined by law) of the municipalities. The civil servants suffer from hateful and violent reactions to their work, since there is little understanding of the legal basis of their social support function in public discourse. The social support function of their work is deemed “naieve” and “amateurish” by the media. Thus the municipalities are constructed as a problem in the struggle against violent extremism, since they provide for individuals deemed to be extremists. The problem representation has consequences for how citizenship and human rights are represented in public discourse: I propose that this can be understood through Judith Butlers theory of dehumanisation, in which she argues some categories of human beings are seen as outside the frame of the human, and thus are viewed as “spoils of war” and not as girevable lives (Butler 2004:143).
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