Hide menu

A few minutes with Professor of Political Science Peo Hansen ...

... who, in the trail of the refugee crisis, is everywhere in the media. Swedish Television, the radio, the major newspapers, local newspapers and news magazines, for example. Why are you in such demand?

Peo Hansen“In my research I focus on things such as EU migration policy, and since the issue has long been topical, I’ve previously been a lot in media contexts as well. But with these developments late this summer, there’s been an unparalleled demand and it’s continuing, evenings and weekends now, and the international media is also getting in touch. I see it solely as positive. It feels good to reach out with my research and have the opportunity to deepen the media’s image of the refugee question. They have their reporting, I can provide an analysis of what’s going on in Europe and even emphasize the historical perspective.”

What response do you give the media concerning the EU’s role in the refugee crisis?

“Everyone’s calling for European solutions, but the EU itself is part of the problem; that’s why it’s not easy to find a solution. The EU has collaborated concerning refugee policy since the ‘80s, and this collaboration has amounted to preventing asylum seekers from getting to the EU. This has been a purposeful policy with visa requirements, conveyor responsibility and barbed wire, for example. So the EU has been part of creating the current crisis.”

But the main cause of people fleeing is the conflicts in their own countries. Can the EU take responsibility for that?

“The world is interconnected. EU countries are deeply mixed up in conflicts all over the world. Many EU countries took part in the Iraq war, which led to a disbanded state. If you’re part of liquidating a state, you should also be prepared to take responsibility for the refugee catastrophe that results. This applies also to Libya, Yemen, Syria and other countries in the Middle East where former colonial powers – such as France and Great Britain, for example – played, and are playing, in a global arena; this has consequences such as refugee crises.”

A part of the media wants answers to how you view the future as regards the EU and the refugee crisis. What do you say to them?

“I have a pessimistic view, unfortunately. It’s already been tense enough among the EU countries for several years as regards the discussion on EU migrants and free mobility within Europe. We shouldn’t let ourselves be lulled into any belief that the EU is the end of history, that it’s nice and safe here. As regards the refugees, on the surface they talk about sharing them equitably. That sounds nice and human, but behind the curtains, beyond the media’s spotlight, feverish work is underway to tighten up the outer borders. The tone among the EU’s countries is sharpening; the situation between Croatia and Hungary, for example, is tense right now. And the military is sent in against refugees; there is a risk that someone will lose control, and they’ll start shooting – either at refugees or between countries. We can’t wave aside such apprehensions.”

How much do you base your responses to the media on your own private opinions, and how much is based on your research?

“I refuse to answer if I don’t have evidence for a standpoint; that’s a responsibility you have both as a researcher and an intellectual. Maintaining confidence in research is important, and I think researchers in general hold this basic position. But it’s for others to judge whether I myself live up to those principles.”

Photo: Nedzad Mesic

 

Related content

 


Eva Bergstedt 2015-09-24



Academic boycott

Protestplakat mot Trumps inreseförbudLiU researchers have joined international calls for a boycott of scientific conferences in the US.

 

risky perfectionism

Woman putting on make upPsychology students took on role of treaters in a study of perfectionism and internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy.

 

social sustainability

People in motionSocial value creation is on the agendas of more and more companies and organisations. Erik Jannesson, senior lecturer in management control, has just published a book on the subject.

 

Critical of the national board of health and welfare

Rolf HolmqvistRolf Holmqvist is one of 17 researchers who are critical to guidelines for the treatment of depression and anxiety.

 

when researchers meet vulnerability

Child in SyriaMalin Thor Tureby was keynote speaker at an international conference on oral history.

 

global media hit

CatCats that meow with a dialect have caused a sensation in the world media. Robert Eklund, a linguist who works with cats at the Department of Culture and Communication, has lost count of the number of times the work has been reported in the media.

 

farewell exchange students

Farewell Mingle 2016On 6 December, a Farewell Mingle was held for departing exchange students who have studied at Linköping University.

 

success for new master's

Stefan Jonsson"We have a global and critical perspective that attracts today's students," says Stefan Jonsson, professor at REMESO, about the Faculty of Arts and Science’s first international master’s programme at REMESO in Norrköping - Ethnic and Migration Studies.

 

health is our new religion

YogisAchieving perfect health has become a religion in the western world, according to a newly published study. Barbro Wijma, professor emerita and physician with many years of experience meeting patients, views this development with dismay.

 

black in sweden

Victoria Kawesa

Skin colour matters, also in Sweden. But many people don’t accept that racism is a problem here – only in other countries. So claims doctoral student Victoria Kawesa, who writes about black feminism and whiteness in Sweden.

 

redress for neglect

Shadows of peopleJohanna Sköld from Child Studies at Linköping University co-organised an international workshop where researchers compared various models of compensation for institutional neglect and abuse.

 

tomorrow's nobel laureates?

Pupils from a primary school in Skäggetorp Anna Lindström and Monika Lopez of the Department of Culture and Communication applied earlier this year for funding for an initiative in an issue relating to refugees. The funding was granted, and the “Tomorrow’s Nobel laureates” project was born. 

 

Alumni of the year 1

Suad Ali, porträtt

Suad Ali, expert on Sweden’s refugee quota, works tirelessly for refugees worldwide. For her dedication she has been chosen as one of Linköping University’s two Alumni of the Year.

 

Alumni of the Year 2

Thomas-Lunner-i-studioThomas Lunner’s research has given improved hearing to millions of people with impaired hearing. He has been chosen as one of this year’s Alumni of the Year.


Page manager: anna.nilsen@liu.se
Last updated: 2017-02-13