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The Strains of CommitmentThe Political Sources of Solidarity in Diverse Societies$
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Keith Banting and Will Kymlicka

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198795452

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198795452.001.0001

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Diversity and Solidarity in Denmark and Sweden

Diversity and Solidarity in Denmark and Sweden

(p.364) 13 Diversity and Solidarity in Denmark and Sweden
The Strains of Commitment

Karin Borevi

Oxford University Press

Denmark and Sweden have many features in common, not least the way welfare state symbols are used in the construction of each country’s national identity, but they display striking differences in approaches to immigrant integration. The chapter argues that this situation reflects the existence of distinctly different dominating ideal typical notions on how social cohesion and welfare state sustainability comes about: In Denmark, a society-centred perspective is predominant, viewing the existence of a particular cultural homogeneity as indispensable for the welfare state to sustain. In Sweden, a state-centred approach instead prevails, referring to the welfare state as a potential promoter of social inclusion. Depending on what ideal typical idea is the dominant, perceptions vary on what are the main challenges from immigration and cultural pluralism, and what policy measures need to be taken. Comparative analysis of a long period of elite discourses and policy developments substantiates the argument.

Keywords:   Denmark, Sweden, welfare state, immigration, immigrant integration, social cohesion, national identity, cultural pluralism, policy developments

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