WP262 Negotiating access with public authorities in research on asylum

Nikolaidou, Rehnberg & Wadensjö


This paper tells the story of obstacles and challenges to fieldwork in a research project exploring migrants’ narratives in the asylum process in Sweden, where, rather than facilitating data collection, the Swedish Migration Authority appeared to create barriers. This had implications both for the project and for individual case workers and interpreters; in the praxis of informed consent, our own strict interpretation became an unnecessary drawback; and in our attempt to overcome the obstacles, we actively involved the national press. The discussion is framed within an overall concern for the role of research in society, and its benefits and risks in relatively closed sectors, raising issues of personal privacy, security and trust.