From governmental success to governmental breakdown: How a new dimension of conflict tore apart the politics of migration of the Swedish centre-right

Marie Demker, Pontus Odmalm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The 2018 election made it clear the Swedish politics of migration no longer was an outlier in comparative European perspective. In this contribution, we analyse some of the reasons behind this development, which trace back a decade earlier We focus on the troubled relationship the centre-right has had with the issue of immigration and draw attention to two critical junctures in order to explain it. First, the entry of a populist radical party to the national legislature in 2010 meant immigration and integration were reframed as multi-dimensional issues, and, second, the collapse of the centre-right Alliance for Sweden in 2014 led parties with different ideologies to scramble for common ground to be able to co-operate. The move from uni- to multi-dimensional competition, along with the absence of a formal coalition, allowed dormant ideological tensions to emerge and enabled parts of the centre-right to discuss immigration and integration in distinctly socio-cultural terms. The signature solutions of the populist radical right were thereby fast-tracked into the mainstream, and the Swedish party system is likely to experience increased (ideological) turmoil in the future.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Early online date9 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Sweden
  • migration
  • party
  • politics
  • centre-right

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