Association for Political and Legal Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
Haqqi Bahram (PhD Student, REMESCO)
Asher Goldstein (LiU/REMESO)
Hammam Skaik (REMESO)
The video of a pregnant black woman being dragged out of the metro by security guards (ordningsvakter) in Stockholm in February 2019 sparked outrage in the public sphere and renewed the debate on the role of these officers and their involvement in (re)producing, and normalizing racialized patterns of violence. This incident resulted in widespread demonstrations throughout Sweden. However, the exposure to violent repression as an aspect of the racialization of communities of colour and immigration is a long-established pattern, evidenced by frequent demonstrations in the “vulnerable areas”of Sweden’s major cities from 2008 onwards. In this context, this article addresses the questions of how ‘the violence work’of the state is outsourced in Sweden’s internal ‘good border spectacles’, and how these practices of deregulation, privatization, and outsourcing fit within the neo-liberal turn in Swedish governance. Our observations indicate that outsourcing violence work accelerates the particularity of exposures to violence and contributes to the erasure of systemic factors as vectors for social mobilization. However, the potential for such mobilization is expressed spatially and temporally, with violence in the gentrified centre in 2019 instigating systemic critique in contrast to earlier marginalization of rights claims in the racialized suburbs.
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