Authors: Maritta Soininen
The Swedish approach to refugee migration makes a special case in more than one way. The refugee regulation is internationally recognized as liberal, while the integration policy scores high in international comparison. The paper argues that – in contrary to the past decades’ tangible transformation in public administration in Sweden informed by New Public Management (NPM) and New Public Governance(NPG), stability and continuity has dominated the Swedish refugee policy, and its three areas, regulation, settlement, and integration. Collaborative governance, involving non-coercive systems of agreements, negotiations, reciprocity and consensus seeking, has dominated the past four-five decades. In 2015-2016, however, a radical turn took place from collaborative governance based on norms of solidarity and trust, to coercive ‘rule by law’, giving the state and its legislative powers a new revival. The paper, that draws previous research and government reports, concludes with a discussion about plausible explanations to this radical turn.
Keywords: Collaborative governance, new public management, rule of law, refugee migration