Ambivalences of Citizenship: Syrians with Refugee Status Responding to Ambivalences of Citizenship in Denmark


A paper, authored by Buthaina Shaheen which investigates the response of refugees to the recent Denmark restrictive policies has been recently published on the Journal of refugee studies.

Abstract: Upon the arrival of unprecedented number of Syrian refugees to Denmark in 2015, the government exerted its full power in order to put a stop to this flow. It signed the EU-Turkey agreement, imposed border control and enacted numerous restrictions on the Alien Act sending a blatant message: Do not come to Denmark, we need to cope up with the numbers we have received, while, at the same time, the government has demanded its new residents—refugees and migrants—to live up to its ultimate requirements where they should demonstrate and act as full citizens, while they are denizens. This article investigates Syrian refugees’ responses to this ambivalence: act as a citizen while you are not a citizen! It employs theoretical notions of citizenship such as Per Mouritsen’s approach to citizenship by stressing the integration of its three components: equality, membership and participation supplemented by supporting theoretical concepts such as racialized citizenship and cultural citizenship.

To read the article, please visit here