The Consequences of the Paradigm Shift – Refugees, the State and the Civil Society
Immigration & development, Integration
24 Aug 2023
New Book: A study examines the effects of a collection of policy changes in Denmark's immigration law introduced in February 2019, known as the 'paradigm shift'. How have the policy changes affected the efforts of volunteers in this sector?
In February 2019, a large majority of the Danish parliament passed a law that included changes to several law complexes relating to foreign citizens and refugees in Denmark.
The changes were collectively referred to as a ‘paradigm shift’ in Danish immigration policy.
The new law means that the decades-long focus on integrating refugees into Danish society has now shifted to a repatriation agenda.
The residence permits of refugees and reunited family members must now be cancelled or not renewed as soon as possible, unless this is contrary to Denmark’s international obligations. Residence permits are issued for temporary rather than permanent residence, and refugees must be returned to their country of origin as soon as possible. If they are unwilling to leave voluntarily, they must be placed in a deportation centre until they can be deported.
In a new book, the research project Boundary Work, a collaboration between the Danish Red Cross, the DRC Danish Refugee Council and the University of Copenhagen, focuses on the impact of this ‘paradigm shift’ on the role of volunteers today.
Since 2021, Boundary Work’s researchers have interviewed a total of 71 volunteers, refugees and social workers in three municipalities about the consequences of the new conditions for everyday life. The book sheds light on the consequences of the legislative changes for professionals and volunteers and on the relationship between citizens, the state and the welfare society.