Ongoing and concluded PhDs

PhD researcher or student information

Jeffrey Maslanik

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Discipline: Political Science

Degrees BA: International Studies


PhD Research Information

The Swedish Model & Refugee Integration: Civil Society & Social Capital in the Neoliberal Welfare State

Brief description:

To forecast how refugees find employment in Sweden, the book analyzes relevant factors related to the process of economic integration (e.g., stable employment) for those arriving after 2000. While, the central agenda of the manuscript is to unearth the role of civil society and social capital (bridging outside of one’s immediate ethnic community to foster meaningful relationships with natives of the state or region) in the integration process, post-secondary education (e.g. highly skilled) was the control variable for all participants analyzed in this study. This was decided as those with unique skills and education, should theoretically have a greater likelihood of navigating a new landscape and building social connections as well as learn new skills and cultures (language and daily norms) required for entering the labor market and resettling.

This research was guided by three central research foci: (1) How has the government adjusted over time to the process of refugee integration, especially since the founding of Sweden’s first integration policy in 1975? (2) What is the role of civil society in the process of refugee integration? (3) To what extent is social capital (bridging outside of local ethnic enclaves) accessed by refugees during this process? In other words, what are the respective roles of these three levels of interaction: state-led programs (establishment program), initiatives and associations led by civil society, and personal contacts with Swedish citizens throughout the process of acquiring employment and becoming autonomous in Sweden?


Analytically, this project is framed by a historical institutional analysis that separates Sweden’s integration policy according to socio-political and economically significant junctures: 1970 to 1990, 1990 to 2010, and 2010 to the present day. Seventy-five first-person, semi-structured interviews were conducted with political elites, representatives of civil society, and refugees from different countries (all of whom arrived no earlier than 2000; 5, 25, and 45, respectively). Swedish native interviewees were selected based on political party, type of organization working with refugee communities, and with regards to the refugees, based on age, time of arrival, country of origin, gender and educational background. Purposive and snowball sampling were employed throughout the interview stage.

Keywords: Employment and Social Security Rights, Resettlement, Sweden, intégration

Language(s) of writing: English

Country: Sweden

Home University:

Florida International University


Politics and International Relations

Supervisor: Markus Thiel
Start date: 19-08-2013
(Expected) date of completion 07-12-2017
PhD current status: PhD Defended
PhD research funded by:
Name of grant:
Added to catalogue on: 12-10-2018

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