Both the right and the left are wrong

Most people, regardless of their political affiliation, seem to agree that Swedish integration policy has failed.  But what is the reason for this? This is where opinions are divided into two factions and two explanatory models. One, found especially on the political left, maintains that Swedish society is steeped in structural discrimination against people from an immigrant background. The reason for the integration problems is found in the majority society and its racism, ethnocentrism, its “us and them mentality.” Had we just tried harder, searched our hearts and become free of prejudices, immigrants would have entered society and become upstanding citizens.

The other faction, which is represented by right-wing populism, obviously has another view. It is “them” – immigrants – who are the problem. After all, they do not want to fit into our society. They are ungrateful, finagle themselves welfare benefits, and are criminal. The reas...

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