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Oksana Zabko, Katrine Fangen and Sylvi Endresen

Abstract

This article analyses migration decisions and labour market manoeuvring of Latvian migrants to Norway, as well as the economic and social conditions that influence their choices. How do they adapt to the labour market in Norway? Do they practise circular migration, or do they aim for more permanent settlement? For some circular migrants, ‘reinforced’ motivation for migration emerges gradually, partly related to differences in working conditions – lower workload, better enforcement of work-safety regulations and opportunities for specialising in their field. Family and networks can influence both return and permanent settlement, depending on whether these are based in the home country or in Norway.

Open access

Completely New Challenges’?:

Continuity and revision in Finnish political parties’ objectives on immigration, 1986–1991

Matti Välimäki

Abstract

This study analyses the discussion of four Finnish parties – Centre Party, National Coalition Party, Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP) and Finnish People’s Democratic League/Left Alliance (SKDL/VAS; Suomen kansan demokraattinen liitto/Vasemmistoliitto) – on foreign workers, refugees and asylum seekers in 1986–1991. The turn of the 1990s marked a period of substantial change in Finnish immigration policy and legislation and included the first comprehensive immigration policy papers by the parties. The study sheds light on the contemporary history of Finnish party politics and discourses on immigration and the challenges faced by mainstream right-wing and left-wing parties when dealing with immigration. The analysis of a wide range of policy papers and documents produced for parties’ internal use indicates that the changes in foreign policy, developments in national demographic and economic circumstances as well as the parties’ broad base of supporters and distinctive ideological traditions facilitate explanation of party stances. The parties’ objectives of the period represented both continuity and revision in relation to previous decades’ considerably restrictive politics.

Open access

Barriers To Access?

Immigrant Origin and Occupational Regulation

Andreea Ioana Alecu and Ida Drange

Abstract

European labour markets have become increasingly accessible to foreign workers because of increased global migration and the implementation of international labour mobility agreements. Yet, skilled immigrants have lower occupational attainment. The regulated occupations, however, are more inclusive of immigrants than unregulated occupations. This article investigates immigrants’ likelihood of gaining access to licensed occupations in Norway, as well as how this varies between regions of origin and between immigrants with a foreign or domestic degree to determine whether employment outcomes are due to different impacts of regulatory frameworks. The empirical investigation uses administrative register data that cover the years 2003–2012. The results show that there are no significant differences between the immigrant groups with a domestic degree, while the results for immigrants with foreign degrees signal that without international agreements on mutual recognition of education credentials, those who are educated for a licensed profession are somewhat restricted in performing it.

Open access

Tuomas Zacheus, Mira Kalalahti, Janne Varjo, Minna Saarinen, Markku Jahnukainen, Marja-Liisa Mäkelä and Joel Kivirauma

Abstract

In this article, we examine the experiences of students in the ninth grade (aged 15–16 years) in relation to harassment, discrimination and racism. The study was carried out at eight Finnish lower secondary schools with a high proportion of students with an immigrant background in 2015. The sample consisted of survey data (n = 445) and thematic interviews (n = 112) conducted with young people of Finnish and immigrant origins. Approximately one-quarter of the respondents said that they had been harassed or discriminated against at schools, and one-tenth had experienced this behaviour in their free time. In addition, almost half of the young people thought that discrimination is widespread in Finland. The more often a student experienced discrimination, the less they liked school. Experiences of harassment, discrimination and racism were especially downplayed when the respondent was the target.

Open access

‘Can We Find Other Ways Forward?’

Church Relations among Migrants and Non-Migrants in the Church of Sweden

Kristina Helgesson Kjellin

Abstract

Belonging to religious communities is of great importance for many migrants coming to Europe. This article focusses on one such community, a Lutheran Ethiopian/Eritrean Mekane Yesus association in Stockholm, and its relations with the Church of Sweden. The article discusses identity formation and belonging in a situation of living in the diaspora, as well as analysing the processes of integration that involve diversity work. This example shows how global power hierarchies in church relations are played out in the local arena - power relations that signal, but also sometimes challenge, a post-colonial order. Furthermore, an identity like Lutheran is highly contextual, as the article shows. While the role of Lutheran churches in the Nordic context is understudied when it comes to migration, this article – and the study it builds on – contributes to a deeper understanding of how the Church of Sweden is being both challenged and motivated to act in relation to migrants coming to Sweden.

Open access

Tembi M. Tichaawa and Sakhile Moyo

Abstract

This study examines the perceptions of urban residents towards the socio-economic and environmental consequences of tourism development in Zimbabwe. Perceptions were tested using empirical data that were gathered from a sample of 384 adult members, representing urban households in Bulawayo. The results from a semi-structured survey revealed that such sociodemographic variables as gender, education, length of stay and income are relatively predictable of their attitude towards tourism. Further, although the urban residents tended to perceive tourism impacts positively, they reacted more strongly to the environmental impacts involved than to the economic and sociocultural impacts. The urban geographic context of this study makes this finding significant, as it indicates that urban residents have an environmental consciousness with regard to tourism. The study has implications for tourism development planners and destination managers, in terms of enhanced engagement with the urban residents regarding tourism development, irrespective of the likelihood of residents supporting future development.

Open access

Łukasz Damurski, Jacek Pluta, Karel Maier and Hans Thor Andersen

Abstract

Local service centres play a vital role in shaping the quality of life in urban neighbourhoods. They offer access to essential everyday services (shops, education, healthcare, personal services) and to public spaces. If they are properly planned and managed, they can bring particular added values to a local community, such as social integration and territorial identification. The history of urban planning has produced several patterns of local service centres (ancient agora, mediaeval market square, neighbourhood unit, modern agora) but today a question arises: how can a local service centre be successfully planned and organised in post-modern political practice? How can its potential be realised and the ever-changing needs, expectations and preferences of local communities be met? Who should be involved in those processes? To answer those questions in this paper we refer to citizen participation and public communication concepts, where selecting the appropriate stakeholders emerges as a necessary starting point for effective urban governance. We present the results of in-depth interviews with local actors (local authorities, municipality officials, town planners, non-governmental organisations, local leaders) in Poland (Wrocław, Siechnice, Ostrów Wielkopolski, Warszawa and Zabierzów), Czech Republic (Prague) and Denmark (Copenhagen). Depending on the specific local context, various stakeholders are perceived as essential to the decision-making process. The power relations and problems encountered in implementing public policy in particular locations have been summarised in three sections: relationships between stakeholders, leadership, and good practices. The paper concludes with a list of typical actors who should be involved in planning, building and managing a local service centre in an urbanised neigh-bourhood.

Open access

Cletus Famous Nwankwo

Abstract

The return of democratic rule in 1999 after many years of military intervention has left some electoral geographic imprints on Nigeria: voting pattern has varied over this period. This paper analyses the pattern of voter choice homogeneity (VCH) and tests the effect of religion on VCH in the presidential elections of the fourth Nigerian republic from 1999 to 2015. The study found that some economic indicators have a positive and significant effect on VCH from the 2003 election but were all insignificant and with a negative impact in the 2015 election. The influence of religion on VCH was negative in the 1999 election but remained positive in subsequent elections and had an increasingly upward trajectory signifying the snowballing importance of faith in citizens’ political choices at the presidential polls. The analysis shows that the pattern of VCH in 1999 was random, but clustered from 2003 to 2015, although the 2011 geographical clustering of VCH was dissected and the 2015 pattern was regionalised. Thus, the article argues that voting patterns structured Nigeria’s political landscape from a random to clustered but dissected electoral landscapes to a clustered but regionalised mi-lieu of a nation of two voting worlds. The pattern of a nation of two voting blocs was witnessed in the 2015 election, in which the VCH sharply depicts the religious cleavage of the country and to some degree also depicts ethnic fault-lines.