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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Conference Papers and Proceedings
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Author(s): Spehar, Andrea
Bucken-Knapp, Gregg
Hinnfors, Jonas
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Title: Ideology and Entry Policy: Why Non-Socialist Parties in Sweden Support Open Door Migration Policies
Citation: Spehar A, Bucken-Knapp G & Hinnfors J (2011) Ideology and Entry Policy: Why Non-Socialist Parties in Sweden Support Open Door Migration Policies. The Politics of Migration: Citizenship, Inclusion and Discourse in Europe, 10.11.2011 - 11.11.2011, Glasgow, Scotland. Available from:,35867,en.html
Issue Date: 10-Nov-2011
Conference Name: The Politics of Migration: Citizenship, Inclusion and Discourse in Europe
Conference Dates: 2011-11-10T00:00:00Z
Conference Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Abstract: While the continued growth of far-right populist parties across Europe has led to a rich body of literature detailing the impact of anti-immigrant parties on entry policies, less attention has been directed towards analyzing how mainstream non-socialist parties formulate their migration policy preferences. In this paper, we seek to correct this imbalance by addressing the case of Sweden. The conventional wisdom frequently portrays non-socialist parties as proponents of restrictive entry policies for labor migrants and asylum seekers. However, we show that center-right parties and the Greens have largely been the driving force behind key Swedish migration policy developments over the past several decades, allowing greater numbers of migrants to enter and settle permanently. Our analysis shows that non-socialist support for generous entry policies is largely consistent over time, regardless of efforts by far-right populist parties, or the socialist left, to see more restrictive entry policies enacted. To account for this stance, we focus on the role of party ideology as the missing factor. While vote maximization and inter-party competition have their place in accounts of entry policy preference formation, a more nuanced analysis requires examining the role of ideology. Long-held ideological principles help parties evaluate societal change, leading them to formulate generous entry policies in the face of pressure from both the left and the right for stricter migration policies.
Status: Author Version

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