Author: Marta Bivand Erdal

The Child Welfare Services in Norway and Migration

The recent demonstrations against Norway’s Child Welfare Service (Barnevernet), in Oslo and outside Norwegian embassies abroad, express the deep frustration and fear felt by some parents with immigrant background. In recent years this frustration has received increased attention both in Norway and internationally. The international diplomatic repercussions of this crisis of confidence between the Child… Read more »

On becoming Norwegian

In May 2015, one of Norway’s leading daily newspapers, Aftenposten, launched a series of profiles titled #JegErNorsk (#IAmNorwegian). One is of Slavomir, who has made his everyday life easier by changing his name to Stian. Another is of Tara, who feels at her least Norwegian on Norway’s national day, when – with her immigrant background… Read more »

Always an Immigrant, Never Norwegian

Immigrants have become integrated into Norwegian society with degrees of success that range between two possible extremes: strong attachment and total alienation. In debates about integration, ethnicity and country of origin are often claimed to be the key factors for determining whether or not integration will be successful. Other important factors are seen as secondary…. Read more »

Foreign Helpers

While a small number of young Norwegian Muslims have travelled to Syria to join militant groups as “foreign fighters”, far greater numbers of young Muslims are supporting humanitarian efforts. Most media attention is focused on young people travelling abroad to fight, rather than on young people’s humanitarian work. Throughout the autumn, aid organizations and groups… Read more »

Where is My Home?

Considerations about return are a persistent dimension of identity work in migrant populations. The question of where and what constitutes ‘home’ for migrants is central to understanding processes of integration in settlement contexts. Simultaneously, where and what constitutes ‘home’ sheds light on motivations for sustained transnational ties, but also on return considerations, ranging from planning… Read more »

Norway’s Outdated Citizenship Legislation

The war in Syria, the threat of Islamic radicalisation, and fears that terrorists may recruit Norwegian citizens have sparked renewed debate about Norway’s citizenship legislation. Meanwhile, another debate continues to be forgotten: We call for a reopening of the debate on dual citizenship, as Norway’s antiquated legislation is out of step with that of its… Read more »

Unintended Effects of Norway’s Readmission Agreement with Ethiopia

The main purpose of migration policy is to affect migration flows. Sometimes, however, policies have other, unintended effects. Such consequences are easily overlooked in policy evaluations, which usually focus on the effectiveness of a given policy in terms of its intended aim. This Policy Brief analyses the outcome of Norway’s readmission agreement with Ethiopia. Two… Read more »

Public Trust in the State

For a society such as the Norwegian one, public trust in the state is a cornerstone. But what happens when that trust is lacking? In several cases over the past year (2012), the involvement of Norway’s Child Protection Service (“Barnevernet”) with families of immigrant background has been the subject of heated debate. The rights and… Read more »