My current research project is looking at refugee resettlement programs, particularly in Germany and Sweden, seeing what they entail, how “successful” they were/are, and determining if they could be applied elsewhere. One guiding question is how applicable are small-scale programs to a larger implementation? Another guiding question will be: is there anything that can be done to mitigate the resentment towards migrants and refugees that seems always to follow them?
One aspect that requires additional detail and attention is what I define as “successful.” Another issue is the timeframe I look at as well as the countries I focus on, particularly because recently Germany and Sweden have seen a revival of Neo-Nazis and anti-immigrant sentiment following their relatively welcoming immigrant stance and the influx of Middle Eastern refugees. There has been a growing presence of far-right, anti-immigrant political groups in both Sweden (Swedish Democrats) and Germany (Alternative for Germany, “AfD”). For the upcoming Swedish elections, the Swedish Democrats are getting high support numbers in the polls, about 1/4 of the nation, and were they to receive these votes in the next elections they would become the second largest political group in the Swedish Parliament. In Germany, there is also a rise in the popularity of the anti-immigrant, fascist-leaning AfD party, which is now the third largest party in the Bundestag and Germany. Especially in the eastern districts of Germany is this anti-immigrant sentiment most strongly seen. For example, in the past week there have been several anti-immigrant, pro-white Germany protests, and more are planned for this weekend, in Chemnitz following the stabbing of a German man. These growing hostile feelings towards anyone deemed “unfit” for a nation present a severe issue for refugees everywhere and are just one of the many problems facing my research towards immigrant programs.