Damsa, Dorina, & Katja Franko. ‘Without Papers I Can’t Do Anything’: The Neglected Role of Citizenship Status and ‘Illegality’ in Intersectional Analysis. Sociology, 57(1), 2023, 194–210.
Intersectionality scholarship has yet to systematically recognize the importance of citizenship status for the mutual shaping of inequalities. In this article, we bring attention to the combined structuring force of criminal law and citizenship status (and the related concepts of ‘illegal’ or ‘irregular’ status) in intersecting with other categories of social disadvantage, such as those created by racialization, class, gender and ethnicity. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with women in prisons for ‘foreign nationals’ and health clinics for ‘undocumented’ migrants in Norway and Denmark, this article shows how citizenship status has a central role in the co-constitution of gendered, classed and racialized social disadvantages.
Bischoff, Carina Saxlund & Anders Ejrnæs. From Homogeneity to Diversity: Societal and Political Responses to Immigration. In A. Hagedorn Krogh, A. Agger, & P. Triantafillou (Eds.), Public Governance in Denmark, 2022, (pp. 227–245). Emerald Publishing Limited.
International migration is a global challenge affecting peoples and nations all over the world. In the advanced economies and welfare states of Western Europe, integrating migrants presents political, social as well as economic challenges. Over the past 50 years, Denmark has made a remarkable U-turn on the immigration question. Once the author of one of the most liberal immigration policies in Western Europe, Denmark presently has one of the strictest. This chapter addresses the causes behind the Danish policy U-turn, and how it has affected the social, economic and political integration of immigrants in Denmark. The chapter shows how Danish immigration politics have turned from low to high salience and have undergone radical changes resulting in a tightening of both internal and external immigration policies. It has become far more difficult to obtain residence and citizenship in Denmark. These measures have limited influx although international refugee crises are difficult to control at the borders. Moreover, Danish integration policies have focused increasingly on obligations and incentives, primarily by cutting benefits. The Danish case however shows that reduction of social benefits only has a marginal positive short-term effect on employment but with some negative side effects. When it comes to education, the Danish welfare state has been relatively successful in integrating immigrants and descendants in the educational system.
Shaheen, Buthaina, Ambivalences of Citizenship: Syrians with Refugee Status Responding to Ambivalences of Citizenship in Denmark, Journal of Refugee Studies, 34.2 (2021), 2349–75
Upon the arrival of unprecedented number of Syrian refugees to Denmark in 2015, the government exerted its full power in order to put a stop to this flow. It signed the EU-Turkey agreement, imposed border control and enacted numerous restrictions on the Alien Act sending a blatant message: Do not come to Denmark, we need to cope up with the numbers we have received, while, at the same time, the government has demanded its new residents—refugees and migrants—to live up to its ultimate requirements where they should demonstrate and act as full citizens, while they are denizens. This article investigates Syrian refugees’ responses to this ambivalence: act as a citizen while you are not a citizen! It employs theoretical notions of citizenship such as Per Mouritsen’s approach to citizenship by stressing the integration of its three components: equality, membership and participation supplemented by supporting theoretical concepts such as racialized citizenship and cultural citizenship.
Skadegård, M. C., Slipping and Sliding: Wielding Power with Slippery Constructions of Danishness, Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies, 1.2 (2022), 158–80.
This article addresses implicit and underlying discrimination in public and private interactions in Denmark. In particular, it examines racial structural discrimination in regard to citizenship and belonging in Danish contexts. Two cases are presented in this analysis, both from the fall of 2015, in which mixed race figures either directly or indirectly. The first case is a public debate concerning Danish citizenship as presented in news coverage and the second is an everyday private interaction at a dinner party in which the author was a participant. The study assesses how (racialized) Danishness, citizenship, and entitlement are constructed in the two cases. Further, it introduces the notion of “slipperiness” as a mechanism in discriminatory interactions (in regard to defining “Danishness”) and discusses how this notion functions to maintain and enforce racial discrimination.
Jensen, Kristian Kriegbaum. ‘What Can and Cannot Be Willed: How Politicians Talk about National Identity and Immigrants’. Nations and Nationalism, vol. 20, no. 3, Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.
The ethnic-civic framework remains widely used in nationalism research. However, in the context of European immigrant integration politics, where almost all ‘nation talk’ is occurring in civic and liberal registers, the framework has a hard time identifying how conceptions of national identity brought forth in political debate differ in their exclusionary potential. This leads some to the conclusion that national identity is losing explanatory power. Building on the insights of Oliver Zimmer, I argue that we may find a different picture if we treat cultural content and logic of boundary construction – two parameters conflated in the ethnic-civic framework – as two distinct analytical levels. The framework I propose focuses on an individual and collective dimension of logic of boundary construction that together constitute the inclusionary/exclusionary core of national identity. The framework is tested on the political debate on immigrant integration in Denmark and Norway in selected years. Indeed, the framework enables us to move beyond the widespread idea that Danish politicians subscribe to an ethnic conception of the nation, while Norwegian political thought is somewhere in between an ethnic and civic conception. The true difference is that Danish politicians, unlike their Norwegian counterparts, do not acknowledge the collective self-understanding as an object of political action.
Fernández, Christian, and Kristian Kriegbaum Jensen. ‘The Civic Integrationist Turn in Danish and Swedish School Politics’. Comparative Migration Studies, vol. 5, no. 1, Physica-Verlag, Dec. 2017,
The civic integrationist turn usually refers to the stricter requirements for residence and citizenship that many states have implemented since the late 1990’s. But what of other policy spheres that are essential for the formation of citizens? Is there a civic turn in school policy? And does it follow the pattern of residence and citizenship? This article addresses these questions through a comparative study of the EU’s allegedly strictest and most liberal immigration regimes, Denmark and Sweden, respectively. The analysis shows a growing concern with citizenship education in both countries, yet with different styles and content. Citizenship education in Denmark concentrates on reproducing a historically derived core of cultural values and knowledge to which minorities are expected to assimilate, while the Swedish model subscribes to a pluralist view that stresses mutual adaptation and intercultural tolerance. Despite claims to the contrary, the analysis shows that Sweden too has experienced a civic turn.
Simonsen, Kristina Bakkær. ‘Politics Feeds Back: The Minority/Majority Turnout Gap and Citizenship in Anti-Immigrant Times’. Perspectives on Politics, Cambridge University Press, 2020, pp. 1–16.
Voting is a democratic virtue and an important mechanism for citizens to let their voices be heard. However, citizens do not participate in politics at equal levels, with consequences for their political power. While turnout gaps between different socioeconomic groups are well researched, the biggest gap in many Western European countries today has been overlooked: that between the children of immigrants (minority youths) and the majority population. I argue that existing theories fall short in addressing this gap because they do not attend to the distinctly political forces that shape citizens’ relationships to politics. Building on the policy-feedback literature, and analyzing seventy-one in-depth interviews with minority and majority youths in Denmark, I show that because these groups are targeted very differently in policy and political discourse, they have substantially different conceptions of politics and their status as citizens. Many minority youths react to anti-immigrant political messages by dissociating from politics, but I warn against interpreting their quiescence as political apathy. Instead, dissociating from politics can be a strategy to reclaim power over their self-understanding and can be experienced as empowering. These findings challenge classic conceptualizations of political engagement and open discussion about how to understand political behavior in increasingly diverse societies.
Togeby, Lise. Grønlændere i Danmark – en overset minoritet. Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 2002,
Til trods for den voksende interesse for de etniske minoriteters økonomiske, sociale og politiske forhold i Danmark, har vi stort set ingen viden om de grønlændere, der er bosat i Danmark. Forklaringen er naturligvis, at grønlændere er danske statsborgere og derfor ikke er genstand for nogen særskilt registrering. Formålet med denne bog er at fremskaffe noget af den viden, vi hidtil har manglet. Konkret undersøger bogen om der til grønlændernes formelle statsborgerskab svarer et faktisk medborgerskab i det danske samfund.
Seemann, Anika. ‘The Danish “Ghetto Initiatives” and the Changing Nature of Social Citizenship, 2004–2018’. Critical Social Policy, SAGE Publications Ltd, Dec. 2020,
This article critically examines the Danish ‘ghetto initiatives’ of 2004, 2010, 2013 and 2018, with a particular focus on their implications for ‘social citizenship’. Its approach is twofold: firstly, it explores how each of the four major ghetto initiatives constructed ghettos and their residents as a problem for the welfare state, and what policy measures were proposed to address the problems identified. Secondly, it examines the legislative changes that resulted from each of the ghetto initiatives and assesses their implications for social citizenship. In doing so, it relates its findings to the different developmental stages of social citizenship in Danish welfare state history. The article argues that the ghetto initiatives have led to an unprecedented spatialization and ethnicization of social citizenship which mark a radical departure from the guiding principles of post-1945 Danish welfare thought and practice.
Meer, Nasar, and Per Mouritsen. ‘Political Cultures Compared: The Muhammad Cartoons in the Danish and British Press’. Ethnicities, vol. 9, no. 3, 2009, pp. 334–360. JSTOR,
One outcome of the Muhammad cartoons controversy has been an opportunity for comparative critical examination of public discourse on conceptions of citizenship and belonging vis-à-vis Muslim minorities in different national contexts. In this article, we focus upon the press reaction in two north-western European countries that on first appearance offer radically different cases. While Britain is a formerly imperial power where ‘legitimate’ public articulations of the collective ‘we’ must take stock of the sensibilities in this diverse inheritance, Denmark’s emergence as a modern constitutional state is premised on a cultural, linguistic and ethnic homogeneity. It would only be fair to anticipate, therefore, that any comparison of press discourse on matters of religious minority toleration and respect for difference would herald very different outcomes to these traditions. Yet this article shows that, on closer inspection, Jyllands-Posten’s more ‘radical’ approach marked a departure from other Danish newspapers in a manner that left it relatively isolated, and that the self-restraint shown by the British press in not reprinting the cartoons was far from universally supported, and subject to significant internal criticism. Indeed, the press discourse in both countries cast the reaction to the cartoons controversy by Muslims themselves as a sign of failed integration, and each moreover stressed a need for civility and respect — even where there was disagreement over the kinds of ‘dialogue’ that should take place. Nevertheless, significant divergences and cleavages remained, and the explanation for these differences rests not only on Britain’s more ‘multicultural’ traditions, but also the experiences of the Rushdie affair and the subsequent debate that had already taken place in Britain. What is striking is the ways in which the Danish discourse appears to be plotting a course that is not that radically different from one taken in the British case, specifically the extent to which a recognition of religious minority sensibilities needs to be offset with a civic incorporation that is cast in interdependent terms in a way that is inclusive of — and not alienating to — Muslims.
Midtbøen, Arnfinn H. ‘Dual Citizenship in an Era of Securitisation:: The Case of Denmark’. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, vol. 1, no. ahead-of-print, Apr. 2019.
When Denmark surprisingly accepted dual citizenship in 2015, the decision reflected as possible and success-oriented application, insights and profits without the two distinct lines of argument: first, accepting dual citizenship would allow Danes living abroad to keep reference to the arguments developed around 1900. The main investigation also their Danish citizenship; second, because it is considered illegitimate to make people stateless, allowing includes the period between the entry into force and the presentation in its current dual citizenship would simultaneously allow for citizenship revocation of dual citizens who engage in or version. Their function as part of the literary portrayal and narrative technique. support acts of terror. This rationale stands in striking contrast to how dual citizenship has been previously theorised. The gradual acceptance of dual citizenship in Western countries since the early 1990s has been seen either as a symptom of a post-national era or as a pragmatic adjustment to the transnational realities of international migration. By contrast, the case of Denmark shows that dual citizenship may serve as a Dedicated to Paul Placeholder lever to protect the political community of the nation-state from terrorism and, as such, function as a tool of securitisation.
Villadsen, Lisa S. ‘Doxa, Dissent and Challenges of Rhetorical Citizenship: “When I Criticize Denmark, It Is Not the White Nights or the New Potatoes I Have In Mind”’. Javnost – The Public, vol. 24, no. 3, July 2017, pp. 235–250.
This article explores an instance of citizen dissent being combatted by elite politicians and the dissenting citizen’s resistance to these attacks. Proceeding from Ivie’s and Thimsen’s understandings of dissent as intimately linked to mainstream discourse and of dissent’s potential for democratic participation and rhetorical invention realised by means of rhetorical troping, the article also invokes Phillips’ work on spaces of dissension. The article concludes with a discussion of the difficulties in realising ideals of deliberative democracy as conceived within the conceptual frame of rhetorical citizenship and potential avenues for theory development followed by a discussion of the potential of rhetorical troping to establish consubstantiality in a gridlocked debate.
Helgertz, J., P. Bevelander, and A. Tegunimataka. ‘Naturalization and Earnings: A Denmark–Sweden Comparison’. European Journal of Population, vol. 30, no. 3, 2014, pp. 337–359.
The determinants and consequences of the naturalization of immigrants is a hot topic in the political debate in Europe. This article compares the effect of naturalization on the income attainment of immigrants in two Scandinavian countries, Denmark and Sweden, using longitudinal register data from 1986 and onward. Sweden is characterized by low obstacles to naturalization, and existing studies provide inconclusive evidence regarding the impact of naturalization on labor market outcomes. Denmark is instead characterized by higher barriers to naturalization, as well as a virtual inexistence of previous studies on the topic. Results, obtained through individual fixed-effect regression analysis, suggest similar effects in both countries. A consistent naturalization premium is detected for immigrants of Asian and African descent, but not for any other immigrant group. The similarity across contexts arguably questions the use of more stringent naturalization laws to promote the economic integration of immigrants.
Ersbøll, Eva. ‘Biao v. Denmark – Discrimination among Citizens?’ EUI Working Paper, no. 79, 2014, p. 24. Zotero.
On 25 March 2014 the European Court of Human Rights delivered a controversial judgment in a case on family reunion in Denmark, the Biao case. The applicants were a Danish national, Mr Ousmane Ghanian Biao, and his wife, a Ghanaian national, Mrs Asia Adamo Biao. They alleged that a refusal by the Danish authorities to grant them family reunion was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) article 8, alone and in conjunction with article 14. The Danish authorities had refused the application for family reunion because the spouses did not fulfil the requirement that their aggregate ties to Denmark be stronger than their aggregate ties to any other state where they could live together – in this case Ghana (‘the attachment requirement’). They submitted that the decision breached their rights under article 8 of the ECHR since it did not pursue a legitimate aim on the ground that it was introduced to target Danish citizens of non-Danish ethnic or national origin. Alternatively, if the refusal was not deemed to be contrary to article 8, they claimed that it was contrary to the prohibition against discrimination, cf. ECHR article 14 read in conjunction with article 8, since particular groups of Danish citizens were treated differently in relation to family reunion in Denmark. In analogous circumstances, those who were born Danish citizens would be exempted from the attachment requirement according to the so-called ‘28-year rule’ which states that the requirement does not apply in cases where the resident person applying for family reunion has been a Danish citizen for 28 years cf. the Aliens Act section 9(7). The complaint regarding the attachment requirement’s conformity with article 8 will not be dealt with here. This paper will primarily deal with the question whether a state lawfully can treat its citizens differently solely on the basis of how and when they acquired their citizenship. In this context the significance of the European Convention on Nationality (ECN) article 5(2), will be analysed. Article 5(2) states that in matters of nationality, state parties shall be guided by the principle of non-discrimination between their citizens, whether they are citizens by birth or have acquired their citizenship subsequently.
Bech, Emily Cochran, Kristian Kriegbaum Jensen, et al. ‘Hvem er folket? Flygtninge og adgangen til dansk statsborgerskab’. Politica., vol. 49, no. 3, 2017, pp. 227–248.
Danmark har nogle af de mest restriktive statsborgerskabsregler i Europa med krav om blandt andet langt ophold, sprog, viden, selvforsørgelse og kriminalitet. Statsborgerskab giver stemme- og opstillingsret til nationale valg og er dermed forudsætningen for fuld demokratisk inklusion. I dag står godt 376.000 voksne indbyggere uden statsborgerskab. På baggrund af registerdata undersøger vi, hvorvidt flygtninge, som indvandrede som voksne mellem 2001 og 2009, har kunnet opfylde kravene til sprog, selvforsørgelse og kriminalitet. Vi undersøger, hvilke krav der er mest ekskluderende, og hvor stor en forskel det ville gøre, hvis kravene lempedes. Herudover undersøges, hvor mange danske statsborgere med dansk oprindelse faktisk kan leve op til de gældende krav. Med det som udgangspunkt diskuterer vi kravenes implikationer for det danske demokrati, og hvorvidt det svarer til normative forestillinger om fairness.