Områdesbaserad politik – möjligheter till strukturell förändring : Lokalt utvecklingsarbete i marginaliserade bostadsområden i Malmö

Sammanfattning: In 1995 the Swedish government launched the first area-based initiative Special initiatives in immigrant-dense neighbourhoods as a response to the current debate concerning the failings of the integration policy. The area-based policy and projects undertake the mission to reverse the trend in marginalized neighbourhoods in Sweden’s major cities from 1995 to 2014. The empirical material is from the projects Area-programs for a socially sustainable Malmö (2010-2015) and Lindängen towards the future (2012-2014), Malmö municipality. Adopting a social constructionist approach the study’s aim is to examine the projects’ assumptions concerning what – and who – should be changed and how.  Based on the policy´s claim to achieve structural change the study also examines if, and if so what, possibilities the projects have to create opportunities for structural change. The study shows that the area-based projects cannot create opportunities for structural change but rather work to reduce the social consequences of structural deficiencies that are made visible through the reproduction of marginalised neighbourhoods. In the projects the social problem is constructed as consisting of four interrelated factors: long-term unemployment, foreign background, segregation and lack of social responsibility. The strategy is to mobilise public, private and civil sector actors so that they – despite society’s exclusion of people of foreign background in situations of long-term unemployment – take their social responsibility and make available resources to individual residents in order to prepare them for becoming active citizens. As they are not able to reduce poverty, promote inclusive political and economic processes or legitimate relationships between those in power and representatives of civil society with demands for changing conditions, their ability to create opportunities for structural change is found to be  limited.