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Welfare between Social and Human Rights – Charity in the New Social Landscape of Sweden

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2022

Johan Vamstad
Centre for Civil Society Research, Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Stockholm, Sweden E-mail:
Magnus Karlsson
Centre for Civil Society Research, Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Stockholm, Sweden E-mail:


Welfare states in Europe and around the world are experiencing growing numbers of people with limited or unclear rights to public welfare within their borders. These are refugees, undocumented migrants, EU-migrants and other groups of displaced or deprived people seeking a better life. In Sweden, this situation is trying the highly held principles of social and human rights, as charities are becoming an increasingly important complement to rights-based public welfare services. This article will show how eight different City Missions in Sweden are seeing a new role for themselves in an emerging social landscape. The findings will be analysed in terms of social and human rights, using the classic theories of T. H. Marshall as well as more recent research.

© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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