With the global refugee population reaching an estimated 22.5 million by mid-2017, compared to 10.4 million in 2011, the world is seeing an unprecedented increase in the number of refugees and asylum seekers. Sweden is among Europe’s top 10 host countries in terms of refugee population per capita, with Syria, Somalia and Iraq making up the most common countries of origin of refugees hosted in Sweden. While ongoing debates are largely focusing on the humanitarian, socio-economic and security implications of large refugee flows, issues related to refugees’ civic and political inclusion and their potential to participate in political life and decision-making processes in their host countries and their countries of origin have not been adequately explored. Refugees have the potential to play a role in political life of both their host and origin countries, as they often maintain strong transnational links with their homelands, while at the same time, they become part of the host society.
Publication details and link to source: Armend Bekaj and Lina Antara (eds.), Political Participation of Refugees: Bridging the Gaps, International IDEA, 2018