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Sanctuary practices in scandinavian transnational cities : The case of public libraries

Lundberg, Anna and Dahlquist, Lisa LU (2018) In Journal of Human Rights Practice 10(1). p.142-158
Abstract

The article explores sanctuary practices within public institutions by examining instances where public libraries in Denmark (Copenhagen), Norway (Oslo) and Sweden (Malmo and Stockholm) open up their services for persons who lack residence permits on state territory (so-called irregular migrants). Public libraries are understood to be protected public spheres where the right to information and the freedom of expression are safeguarded. Such spaces, where rights are provided, as Hannah Arendt famously pointed out in her reflections over statelessness, are primarily open to citizens. Hence, when public libraries offer their services to irregularized migrants, this is a demonstration of how public institutions representing the sovereign... (More)

The article explores sanctuary practices within public institutions by examining instances where public libraries in Denmark (Copenhagen), Norway (Oslo) and Sweden (Malmo and Stockholm) open up their services for persons who lack residence permits on state territory (so-called irregular migrants). Public libraries are understood to be protected public spheres where the right to information and the freedom of expression are safeguarded. Such spaces, where rights are provided, as Hannah Arendt famously pointed out in her reflections over statelessness, are primarily open to citizens. Hence, when public libraries offer their services to irregularized migrants, this is a demonstration of how public institutions representing the sovereign may engage in contestations of deportation regimes produced by the sovereign. Such enactments of sanctuary, or acts of citizenship in the city, open up new meanings of Arendts notion of ''the right to have rights''. Through an in-depth case study in Malmo , Sweden, this article suggests that a new role is emerging for municipal institutions as providers of transnational rights decoupled from any territorial basis. Rather than being linked to nationhood, the institutional role in democracies may be constitutive of rights in local contexts, in this case the protected right to access library services. An equally progressive development can be found in Norway; however, this is not the case in Denmark which could be understood as a reflection of Denmarks more restrictive approach to immigration in general.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
acts of citizenship, library, local government, regimes, sanctuary, Scandinavian cities
in
Journal of Human Rights Practice
volume
10
issue
1
pages
17 pages
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85047878278
ISSN
1757-9619
DOI
10.1093/jhuman/huy009
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
45b434fe-f6eb-4c4a-9adf-ef942e829952
date added to LUP
2018-06-14 15:33:41
date last changed
2018-11-21 21:40:22
@article{45b434fe-f6eb-4c4a-9adf-ef942e829952,
  abstract     = {<p>The article explores sanctuary practices within public institutions by examining instances where public libraries in Denmark (Copenhagen), Norway (Oslo) and Sweden (Malmo and Stockholm) open up their services for persons who lack residence permits on state territory (so-called irregular migrants). Public libraries are understood to be protected public spheres where the right to information and the freedom of expression are safeguarded. Such spaces, where rights are provided, as Hannah Arendt famously pointed out in her reflections over statelessness, are primarily open to citizens. Hence, when public libraries offer their services to irregularized migrants, this is a demonstration of how public institutions representing the sovereign may engage in contestations of deportation regimes produced by the sovereign. Such enactments of sanctuary, or acts of citizenship in the city, open up new meanings of Arendts notion of ''the right to have rights''. Through an in-depth case study in Malmo , Sweden, this article suggests that a new role is emerging for municipal institutions as providers of transnational rights decoupled from any territorial basis. Rather than being linked to nationhood, the institutional role in democracies may be constitutive of rights in local contexts, in this case the protected right to access library services. An equally progressive development can be found in Norway; however, this is not the case in Denmark which could be understood as a reflection of Denmarks more restrictive approach to immigration in general.</p>},
  author       = {Lundberg, Anna and Dahlquist, Lisa},
  issn         = {1757-9619},
  keyword      = {acts of citizenship,library,local government,regimes,sanctuary,Scandinavian cities},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {142--158},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Journal of Human Rights Practice},
  title        = {Sanctuary practices in scandinavian transnational cities : The case of public libraries},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhuman/huy009},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2018},
}