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A new RSC Working Paper by Harald Fredriksson (MSc 2021-2022) seeks to understand the divergence in refugee policy between the Social Democratic parties of Sweden and Denmark. Operating in countries with shared history and culture, these two parties share many things, but not their policy towards refugees.

Since the 1980s, a policy divergence has taken place in which the Danish Social Democratic Party has become an advocate for tighter border restrictions and immigration control, leaning on any party on the political spectrum to achieve policy goals, while the Swedish Social Democratic Party has taken the opposite approach, leading the parties in the Swedish Parliament that are opposed to any collaboration or association with the country’s anti-immigration party. The working paper examines the developments since the 1980s that have led to the divergence seen today, including some convergence in policy since the refugee inflow experienced in Sweden in 2015-16 and thereafter.

Read the paper here: Sister parties no more: explaining the refugee policy divergence of the Swedish and Danish Social Democratic parties