A Study of Development within the Danish Immigration Politics

Esben Christensen, Camilla Brandt & Andreas Vemgaard Sørensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


In 1998 the law of Integration was passed in the Parliament of Denmark. This was the first law within the area of integration creating a focus on the individual immigrant, which marked a new direction within the area of integration in Denmark. Turning our eyes to the present, the Parliament of Denmark passed a new law in 2019, which led to a change in the immigration policy making residence permits temporary. This made us wonder how the political communication within the area of immigration and integration has developed. Our thesis centres around the following problem statement which helps us examine the development within the field of immigration and integration politics. How does the law-making semantics regarding immigration and integration politics develop within the period of 1998 to 2019? And how will the hegemonic struggles about fixating a certain construction within the field of immigration and integration politics within this period be observed with a focus on how articulation creates hegemony within the discourse? To answer our problem statement, we have structured our thesis around two separate theoretical frameworks. Our first analysis will be a semantic analysis based upon the theoretical framework of Niklas Luhmann. Where the other analysis will be a discourse analysis based on the discourse theory of Ernesto Laclau & Chantal Mouffe. When conducting the analysis, we found that the construction within the semantics of a them and us appear throughout the law text until 2019. In this year the construction of the possibility to become us no longer exists. The thesis also provides us with a view on the development of the political communication within three separate political parties Social Democrats, the Liberal Party of Denmark and the Danish People’s Party. This enlightens us with the reason behind the creation of hegemony within the discourse to be caused by the development of the Social Democrats from 1998 to the passing of L140 in 2019. The hegemony within the discourse is based on the fixation that temporary residence permits to immigrants are the foundation for the area of immigration and integration politics within the three parties. This also appears in the law that facilitates the area of immigration.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages150
SupervisorsDorthe Pedersen