Immigration and the Welfare state in a Norwegian context : a literature review on the debate on immigration and the welfare state among scholars in Norway
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The increasing numbers of immigrants to Norway, and the future of the welfare state in a changing society are an issue under serious debate. This study explores essential elements of this discussion. The research question is: “What are the issues and arguments of the debate on immigration and the welfare state among Norwegian scholars?” The thesis is a literature review, and the methodological approach qualitative. The aim is to investigate the issues surrounding the debate, and as such literature by influential Norwegian scholars has been selected and subjected to the method of comparison. Potential limitations are that the data collection and findings may be influenced by the topic being of substantial political interest, and based on inclusion criteria from sources of commission, i.e. the scholars and myself. Core findings of the study are that three main issues were focused on in the particular literature; economic consequences of immigration, immigration and legitimacy of the welfare state and integration and the welfare state. Within these categories, disadvantages and conveniences of immigration are stated, and various the effects on and of the welfare state proclaimed, though with differing empirical foundations. I further find that the points of view often concern the importance of labour-participation and prognosis of the future which are, to some degree, contested and difficult to verify. Nevertheless, this is a complex debate, and hopefully the thesis provides insight into its broadness and fundamentals. Key words: Immigration/migration, welfare state, social welfare, legitimacy, demography and integration.
Master in International Social Welfare and Health Policy