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Reimagineering the Nation

Essays on Twenty-First-Century Sweden


Edited By Aleksandra Ålund, Carl-Ulrik Schierup and Anders Neergaard

This collection of essays offers a critical analysis of neoliberal transformation as it has unfolded in Sweden, long regarded as exemplary in terms of social welfare, equality and an inclusive multicultural democracy. The book presents a multidisciplinary exposition on Sweden, seen in a wider European perspective. It addresses changing frameworks of citizenship, welfare and democracy, migration and asylum, urban segregation and labour market segmentation and processes of securitization. It illuminates intersecting dimensions of class, gender and racialization and juxtaposes xenophobic populism with new social justice and antiracist movements on a changing political stage. Addressing a growing alignment with retrogressive illiberal policies across Europe, the volume exposes the reach of the adverse direction in which European «integration» is currently heading.

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11. Workplaces on the Move: Professional Mobilisation against the Extreme Right (Paula Mulinari)


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Paula Mulinari

11. Workplaces on the Move: Professional Mobilisation against the Extreme Right

Abstract: The chapter explores organised resistance by employed in the Emergency Room in Malmö, Sweden. It was provoked by a planned visit of the leader of the Sweden Democrats, a right-wing xenophobic party. The case is explored along three interlacing themes: the politicisation of public care, the subversive potential of following codes of the profession and the meaning of racism. Based on professional core values workers created a new political space that made it possible to mobilize against the extreme-right.


In the spring of 2014, Jimmie Åkesson, leader of the Sweden Democrats (SD), went on a national tour to visit workplaces. On April 9, he and his team planned to visit three workplaces in Sweden’s third-largest city, Malmö: the Emergency Room (ER) at a local hospital, a fire station and a police station. At both the fire station and the ER, workers mobilised to stop the visits.

This article explores the events that occurred at the ER, as told by some of the workers who initiated and organised the resistance against Åkesson’s visit. It aims to highlight how resistance was explained, carried out and affected the relations between workers.

Interviews and dialogues with the informants form the empirical focus of the text.1 This approach aims to highlight the centrality of ‘our story’, as one informant put it, which frames, as its...

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