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Fake passports and appointed communities: Nation and transnationalism in the Danish asylum system

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Nationality underwrites a great deal of the Danish asylum process, and of the refugee regime as a whole. The housing and care of asylum seekers, handled by the Danish Red Cross, is based on classifications by nationality. Bending a phrase from Benedict Anderson, these might be called "appointed communities". While the Danish asylum system in principle performs individual determination procedures for asylum seekers, granting refugee status on a case-by-case basis, in practice those identified as Iraqi or Afghani have had a very high acceptance rate. However, it is clearly the case that not all asylum seekers have citizenship of the countries they claim to come from, or indeed feel they come from the countries of which they have citizenship. In this context, we must enquire about the mechanics of determining nationality and about how asylum seekers themselves relate to national identities. I argue that although the social networks that are significant to asylum seekers at times may be composed mainly of individuals from a single nation, they are also thoroughly transnational, and embody a sense of home not necessarily so tightly bound to place, as the asylum process presumes. (Original abstract)
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftImmigrants and Minorities
Vol/bind22
Udgave nummer2-3
Sider (fra-til)362-373
Antal sider12
ISSN0261-9288
DOI
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2003

ID: 187012323