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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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13. Reading the Stockholm Riots: A Moment for Social Justice? (Carl-Ulrik Schierup, Aleksandra Ålund / Lisa Kings)


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Carl-Ulrik Schierup, Aleksandra Ålund & Lisa Kings

13. Reading the Stockholm Riots – A Moment for Social Justice?

Abstract: This chapter discusses the 2013 riots in Stockholm in the perspective of a range of urban rebellions in disadvantaged metropolitan neighbourhoods of the North-Atlantic region over the past three decades of neoliberal transformation. The authors examine consequences of securitisation and police repression, institutional racism, the corrosion of citizenship and the structuring of inequality in Swedish cities and they ask whether the Stockholm uprising could possibly open space for new political voices.

What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore? … Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes, 1951

‘Riots’, ‘Uprisings’ or the Rebirth of Civil Society?

‘I have a dream’, declaimed Reverend King on his March on Washington fifty years ago. It was a vision of a truly inclusive American nation. Yet, King soon found himself pondering whether the dream was not turning into that very ‘nightmare’ that Malcolm X had insisted continued to be the reality of the American Dream for black citizens. ‘I watched that dream turn into a nightmare’, King admitted in his last Christmas sermon in 1967, ‘as I moved through the ghettos of the nation and saw my black brothers and sisters perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity,...

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