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Axel Fredholm

Axel Fredholm

Senior Lecturer | Director of Studies

Axel Fredholm

Integration, cultural preservation and transnationalism through state supported immigrant organizations : a study of Sweden’s national ethnic associations

Integration, kulturbevarande aktiviteter och transnationalism genom statsstödda invandrarorganisationer : En studie av Sveriges etniska riksförbund


  • Olle Frödin
  • Axel Fredholm
  • Johan Sandberg

Summary, in English

This paper explores the activities of Swedish state supported ethnic associations (most of which are immigrant organizations), thus shedding empirical light on how immigrants organize with the help of state support, both nationally and transnationally, in a welfare state context. The paper is based on a study of annual reports of 52 state supported national associations, representing more than a thousand (1046) local immigrant organizations, as well as 17 interviews with representatives of the said organizations. The findings indicate that the welfare state did not crowd out civil societal integration-promoting initiatives, but the state supported immigrant organizations came to occupy a niche in which they primarily offered complementary services with the aim of helping members to navigate the public welfare system. Neither did state support directly shape the content and direction of the political activities of the said organizations. However, the state support seems to have generated welfare channeling effects, in that more immigrant organizations came into existence than would have been the case in the absence of grants. The paper comes down in favor of the thesis that state support in some circumstances can promote political incorporation through immigrant organizations (with a few caveats). Finally, the paper proposes a hypothetical mechanism, homeland-oriented integration, for political incorporation through immigrant organization.


  • Sociology
  • Department of Human Geography
  • Department of Sociology
  • Centre for Economic Demography

Publishing year





Comparative Migration Studies



Document type

Journal article


Amsterdam University Press


  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)


  • Immigration
  • Integration of adaptation and mitigation
  • Immigrant organizations
  • Transnationalism




  • ISSN: 2214-594X