Making asylum: Life in a suspended state A discussion of evidence from a study of asylum reception in Denmark and Sweden

21 March 2024 – Aalborg University, Copenhagen

The topic

Arrangements for how to manage asylum-seekers — in the state, but not yet of the state — are under reconsideration across the Western world. This reconsideration is taking place in the context of pressures arising from the arrival of individuals fleeing persecution, conflict, and violence, with millions making their way to Western Europe in hopes of receiving refuge. The complexity of adjudication, appeals, and difficulties repatriating those with rejected claims has made asylum management a long-term project with profound social and political implications as asylum-seekers live in limbo, not just for months, but for years.

At this event, we will share initial findings from an on-going, multi-year research project that directly engages with these important challenges and takes a deep dive into how they have played out on the ground in Denmark and Sweden.

We promise lively discussions and insightful debates on key questions involving the challenges of asylum reception and what we can learn from experience. Among the issues to be discussed:

  1. Managing asylum at the front lines: Challenges for center operators and staff.
  2. The challenges of living in limbo: How asylum seekers respond to the conditions in which they live and informal strategies they develop to adapt, negotiate, and manage their lives.
  3. What’s next? Issues for policy and practice.

Key details

Date: March 21, 13.00-17.00

Place:  Aalborg University Copenhagen, Sydhavnen

  1. C. Meyers Vænge 15, København

The event will take place in English. If you have any questions, please contact us at

Tweet about us – @makingasylum2024


Registration is free, but necessary for attendance as space is limited. Registration will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Please sign up at the registration link by March 13, 2024:

Registration: Making asylum – life in a suspended state (21 March 2024 in Copenhagen) (

Coffee/tea and light refreshment will be provided.

Stay tuned

Please mark your calendar and watch for updates on the program. Details will be available at the event website:

The project team

Evelyn Z. Brodkin, University of Chicago, US

Staffan Höjer, University of Gothenborg, Sweden

Karen N. Breidahl, Aalborg University Denmark


Independent Research Fund Denmark | Social Sciences

Neubauer Collegium, University of Chicago.