Accepted Papers:

Crisis and continuity: Norwegian local communities in the wake of the 'refugee crisis'  

Authors:

Susanne Bygnes (University of Bergen)
Ingalill Herstad (University of Bergen )

Paper Short Abstract:

What happens to local community dynamics 'after the crisis'? We analyze this issue drawing on qualitative data collected in Norwegian local communities during and after 'the crisis' to understand local reactions and efforts when the crisis trope is no longer in play .

Paper long abstract:

Crisis and continuity: Norwegian local communities in the wake of the 'refugee crisis'

Norway, situated at Europe's northwestern periphery, is currently experiencing the lowest number of asylum seeker arrivals in twenty years. While in 2015 protests were frequent anticipating the peak in asylum seeker arrivals to Norwegian local communities, the 'crisis situation' also unleashed unprecedented local efforts to welcome the asylum seekers. We analyze the 'refugee crisis' as a widely mobilizing critical event (Das 1995). According to social movement theory, such events can serve to challenge established truths, lead to social and political mobilization and even long term social change. But, what happens to local community dynamics 'after the crisis', when reception centers have closed down and the refugees welcomed stop coming? We analyze this issue drawing on qualitative data collected in two rural and one urban Norwegian local communities during and after 'the crisis' to understand what may happen to local reactions and efforts when the crisis trope is no longer in play and the critical event that spurred local response seem to have passed.

Panel P156
Encountering refugees beyond urban Europe: everyday interactions, pragmatics and outcomes