Unsettled City

A comparative study on the influence of residence status on the public and private dimensions of refugee inclusion and societal sustainability.

The implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies lies at the very core of the construction and transformation into peaceful and inclusive societies and cities. But how should migration policies be framed to best promote the goals set in the 2030 Agenda? Based on the contemporary national and local variations in migration policies across Europe, there is currently little agreement on a “best practice”.

In this project, we want to investigate how different types of migration policies affect individual refugees’ process of inclusion and the receiving cities. We do so with a focus on Sweden, a country that often is associated with open and inclusive migration policies. However, in the aftermath of the so-called “European migration crisis” in 2015 and 2016, Sweden suddenly changed its policy approach. Over a day, migration policy in Sweden changed from an inclusionary to a restrictive approach more in line with the European standard.

This project uses the swift change of regulations in an innovative design to identify two groups of refugees that were granted residence in the same period but were affected and unaffected by the restrictive change. Focusing on these groups, a few novel and unique data sources are introduced and developed to assess the influence of the policy change on refugees’ perceptions and motivations regarding housing, work and studies, equality, family formation, and well-being.

Research period





Emma Holmqvist, researcher, IBF (project manager)
Irene Molina, professor, IBF 

Key words

Residency status, Migration policy, Inclusive society

Last modified: 2022-12-05