Social reproduction, economic growth, and environmental sustainability in the era of restrictive immigration and integration policies

The role of the 2015 restrictive Swedish Temporary Immigration Policy (TIP)

Academic Paper, 2019

23 Pages, Grade: B



1. Background
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Policy problem, motivation
1.3 Method, Purpose and research question
1.4 Social policies in Sweden
1.5 Integration social policy in Sweden
1.6 Temporary immigration policy and maintainance requirement in Sweden

2. Literature review

3. Conceptual and Theoretical framework .
3.1 Social Reproduction and human well-being ...
3.2 Economic growth and the needs of the market ..
3.3 The theory of the spirit level and environmental sustainability
3.4 Connection of the theories and the studied subject ...

4. Analysis and Discussions . 11
4.1 Impact of TIP through the lens social reproduction and human well-being.
4.2 Impacts ofthe Swedish TIP through the lens of Economic growth ..
4.3 Impact of the Swedish TIP through the lens of spirit level and environmental sustainability.

5. Synergies and tensions between social, economy, and environment sustainability in accordance with the swedish TIP.

6. Conclusion

7. References

1. Background

1.1 Introduction

Limitations that hinder social reproduction such as political and ethnical devastations, environmental hazards, poverty, racial and gender threats enforced about 60 million people in the year 2015 to circulate around the globe in search for better social reproduction/protection facilities (See, Prop2015/16:174). Therefore, in order to manage and offer opportunities for social reproduction in receiving states, social integration policies, as a form of social protection policy, for refugees and migrants, are introduced in different hosting European countries, such as in Sweden. In Sweden both progressive and regressive policies have been adopted to ease social and market integration 1 process ofthe newly arrived.

However, between 2015-2016 amidist the increased migration era in Europe, Sweden adopted a regressive restrictive Temporary Immigration Policy (TIP)2 that meant limitations on permanent residence but facilitation on temporary residence, and limitation on family reunification (Ibid). The policy would persist for three years until 2019, but it has been suggested for an extension until 2021 (Swedish Government, 2019). The policy formation, according to politicians and the swedish government, was mainly on the motivation of smoothening integration and establishment of refugees whilst reducing the numbers of refugees ,that according to the Swedish political, government strained the Swedish welfare system both economically and socially (See, Prop 2015/16:174, p.1). The purpose for extension remains the same on facilitating integration and establishment of refugees whilist reducing the number of refugees.

Additionally, the focus groups for the policy are all refugees in need of protection and fear of persecutions. Prerequisites for extending temporary residence to permanent residence permit and increasing possibilities of family reunification is ''forsorjningskrav-maintenance requirement" 3 (See, Prop 2015/16:174, p,44).

1.2 Policy problem, motivation

The 2015 Swedish restrictive TIP on the limitation to permanent residence permit and family reunification has gained much critics and applauds. Critisms on health, social integration, and labour market participation of actual focus groups, and applauds on its economic boost in terms of reducing strains on the welfare system and number of refugees (See, Prop 2015/16:174). The economic and social significances ofthe policy are evident. Therefore, looking at it through the lens of social reproduction and economic production, and integrating the environment aspect will offer extended insights on the policy issue at hand.

However, there is limited research on the 2015 temporary restrictive immigration policies as a form of social integration policy in relation to how they address or not social reproduction and economic production, and the environment thus making it an interesting field to study. This paperwork will fill up the gap and introduce immigration and integration as an area of study in social policy and economic performance. Also, focusing on social reproduction in relation to restrictive immigration and integration policy consents focus and understandings on the question of refugees making, maintenance, production and reproduction abilities within the atmosphere of restrictive immigration and integration policy. Moreover, the paper will contribute with insights on how restrictive immigration and integration policies, as a certain form of social policy, can address or not refugees and immigrant's social reproduction, boost or not boost economic growth, and impact the environment.

1.3 Method, Purpose and research question

Therefore, through content analysis and reviewing method of different relevant literatures, the purpose of the paper is to explore and examine the impacts of the TIP policy through the spheres of social, economic, and environment. Further to discuss the synergies and conflicts of the social, economic, and environmental impacts in relation to the policy. This will be analysed through the theoretical lens of social reproduction; economic growth, and Wilkinson et al (2015) sprit level theory on environmental sustainability.

The question posed on the paper are the following:

1. How does the policy coped in providing or limiting the means for social reproduction ofhuman life of refugees?
2. How does the policy address or not the needs of the swedish market?
3. How does the policy address or not the environment in Sweden?
4. How does the social, economic and environment sphere conflict each other and act as synergies in relation to the policy?

1.4 Social policies in Sweden

Gough et al (2010) define social policy as the public management of social risks such as ill­ health and undemployment in which welfare states transfer allocactions of goods and services from market determinationa to political determination. There are diverse social policies that cover age, disability, sickness, unemployment and even currently in the era of globalisation in terms of migration, integration of refugees and newly immigranted (Ibid). Shortly, said social policies is there to address social risks or change the nature ofthe society (Spicker,2014). The swedish social policies consists of education policy, social inclusion policy, health, families, pensions, safe living, employment, global social policy, and integration policy (See, SGI­ Sustainable Governance Indicators, 2018). I will mostly focus on integration policy within the subject of temporary immigration policy limiting possibility to permanent residence, limiting family reunification, and requiring for self-maintenance.

1.5 Integration social policy in Sweden

The swedish social policy on integration is based on the value goals of equal rights, obligations and opportunities for all regardless of ethnical and cultural background (Government Offices of Sweden, 2009). These value goals are achievable through the strategies of introduction of new arrival; offering more work; better results and equality in schools; effective anti-discrimination measures, better language skills and more adult education, and development of urban districts with extensive social exclusion. The implementation process is made possible through a coordinating responsibility process of the state, civil societies, municipalities and swedish public employment agency (Ibid).

1.6 Temporary immigration policy and maintainance requirement in Sweden

As discussed before, temporary immigration policy means a limitation to the possibilities for refugees to acquire permanent residence, limitations on family reunification (See, Prop 2015/16:174). A requirement for increasing the possibilities of temporary immigration residence permit to permanent residence permit, and family reunifying is through fulfilling the maintenance requirement (Ibid). The maintance requirement permit to permament permit stipulates for full-time job in an insured protected company that is registered at the swedish taxation office, and standard income according to swedish pating scale (Swedish Migration Agency,2019).

Moreover, in order to increase chances for family reunification, the maintenance requirement policy stipulates for a suitable apartment size, two rooms for a couple; more rooms are required if children will leave in the apartments (Ibid). The requirements are in exception of children under 18, and families that apply for reunification within three months after their counterparts have got residence permit. The purpose of the temporary immigration policy that stipulates for maintenance requirement, apart from depopulating the number of refugees, according to the swedish govenrnment, is on the determination of increasing work incentives and increase integration, amongst newly migrated, and decrease migration costs. Therefore, acting as a form of social policy in terms of boosting integration of refugees (Prop 2015/16:174 pp.44-61).

2. Literature review

The idea of using previous research for the studied social immigration and integration policy at hand is somewhat problematic because the policy being studied is somewhat a contemporary issue, especially consequences of temporary immigration and integration policies through the lens of social reproduction, economic growth, and the environment. In this case, the research uses different relative researchers and international researches that can construct a bridge between their studies and that to be studied. This is in order to come up with new knowledge that can contribute to the field of social policy and economic performance.

Therefore, the Swedish Red Cross (2018) through interviewing method, report on the socio-economic consequences of the 2015 Swedish temporary immigration policy. They conclude that the temporary immigration policy (TIP) on the limitation to permanent permit, family reunification, and emphasis on maintenance requirement have socio-economically impacted refugees. Even though they do not specifically analyse the policy through the lens of social reproduction; their work offers analytical source for the studied issue at hand in achieving its aims. It is interesting to analyse their results through the scope of social reproduction, economic growth and the environment since their work is mostly interpreted as a report, and not a theoretical based research paper.

On the other hand, in terms of economic growth related to restrictive immigration and integration policies, Ager eta!, 2017 exploit the shift of the U.S immigration and integration policies in the 1920s from progressive to restrictive and how this impacted economic growth. It is ager et al's belief that the restrictive immigration and integration policies led to a long­ lasting relative decline in population growth; lower fertility rate; and low labour productivity rate in manufacturing. This in the long run affected the U.S economic performance. A critic is that Ager's work is somewhat side-lined as he doesn't not look at the positive contribution of the restrictive policy to the United States economic performance. Also, Noja eta!(2018) study migration flows within European union and their economic consequences. How immigrants can contribute to the country's sustainable development through labour market participation. Specifically, Noja eta!(2018) found out that allowing for immigration flows and offering tools for integration result to induced gross domestic product per capita of a nation-state. For a greater depth regarding immigration and integration and its contribution to economic growth, Luisa et al2014 investigate impacts of migration inflows in firm's product and process innovation in British local market and found out that immigration flows boost innovation. From this it can be believed that social policies that allow for progressive immigration inflows and integration can be a positive source to a countries economic growth.

However, contemporary, environmental sustainability alters economic growth and social reproduction/social wellbeing which are vital for social policies in achieving its goals. Population Action (2012) put in pen why population matters for climate change. For them demographic trends have important connection to challenges and solutions of climate change. Therefore, they assume that population growths triggers climate change through exposure to climate risks that cause high greenhouse emissions.

3. Conceptual and Theoretical framework

3.1 Social Reproduction and human well-being

From Marxian perspective, social reproduction accounts for the salience of labor power or human capital in enabling production (Laslett et al, 1989, pp.381-382). Therefore, social reproduction theory according to the marxian perspectives assumes that labor with enough human capital is is vital for reproduction of human and systems (Ibid). We need to socially reproduce in terms of labor/human capital in order to maintain the economical system. In this case social reproduction of labor is the basis for capitalist production since labour is a salient input into the production process (Ibid).

However, from Bourdians perspective, social repoduction assumptions are based on the four capitals:social, human, financial,cultural for maintain human being and the system. That means that if human, financial, cultura, and social capital are unavailable to humans, social reproduction can not be adressed and thus hindering maintenance of the human through hindering reproduction, and systems. On the other hand according to feminsist social reproduction is not only based on the basis of capitalistic production through maintenance of labour and human capital, or through maitainanace and provision of social, human, financial,cultural and social capital but rather also on how food, labour, clothing are made available to consumption (Laslett et al,l989). A basis of human life reproduction and satisfaction of human needs (Ibid). Thus they define social reproduction as "activities, attitudes, behaviour, emotions, responsibilities, and relations directly involved in the maintainance of life in daily basis and intergenerational (Ibid).

Moreover, social reproduction takes place in different places or are enabled and hindered by different fators such as: the family, the state, and the market. For this paper the political and market space in addition of the environment shall be the focus. How the swedish government with its market through introduction of maintenance requirement to permanent residence permit provide or hinder for social reproduction, and how this impacts the production of the economy.


1 Integration is the strengthening of relations within a social system and relating actors or groups to an existing social system and its core institutions (Penninox, 2006,p.138)

2 TIP will be used to infer Temporary Immigration Policy

3 Read further for elaboration on p.6

Excerpt out of 23 pages


Social reproduction, economic growth, and environmental sustainability in the era of restrictive immigration and integration policies
The role of the 2015 restrictive Swedish Temporary Immigration Policy (TIP)
Lund University  (Department of Political Science)
Social Policy and Economic Performance
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
#Immigrationpolicy2015 #Sweden2015 #Socialpolicy #Sustainability
Quote paper
Leticia Tusemererwa (Author), 2019, Social reproduction, economic growth, and environmental sustainability in the era of restrictive immigration and integration policies, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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