‘I Can’t Create a Future with a Temporary Permit’: Refugees and Long-Term Temporary Protection in Denmark

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Recent years immigration policies in Denmark emphasize that protection for refugees is temporary and repatriation is the explicit, political goal. Individuals who are granted asylum inevitably face years of temporary protection during which they do not know whether they will be able to live in Denmark for more than one or two years ahead in time. Based on fieldwork among young adults who were granted asylum or family reunification when they were big kids or young, this article seeks to critically explore how temporality is experienced and sought managed. Theoretically, the article adds to recent trends in migration studies that emphasize the temporal aspects of migration by drawing on concepts of protracted and radical uncertainty. This enables an analysis that recognizes how uncertainty is imposed on but also actively dealt with by refugees who hold a precarious legal position for an indeterminate period of time. By exploring young individuals’ active engagement through ‘the work of hope’, the article contributes with a deeper understanding of this strategy as a double-edged sword: while the work of hope enables active resistance to the political intentions of temporary protection, it concurrently adds to other types of precarity in the everyday realm.
Translated title of the contribution'Jeg kan ikke bygge en fremtid på en midlertidig opholdstilladelse': Unge flygtninges og udstrakt midlertidighed
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Migration Research
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • socially endangered youth
  • integration

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