Fecha de publicación:
Hans-Ingvar Roth and Fredrik Hertzberg

The aim of this report is to describe and analyse some of the more salient challenges that Sweden faces with regard to cultural diversity during the last 30 years. Cultural diversity is here understood as a societal fact, i.e. that Sweden as a country consists of citizens/inhabitants with different cultural backgrounds. This form of diversity has often been assumed to present political and ethical challenges to the society and the state, and with respect to the more regional and local spheres of society. Even though large-scale migration to Sweden is a post-world war II-phenomenon, Sweden has been characterized by cultural encounters between native inhabitants and so-called newcomers for many generations. In addition, cultural encounters between the majority population, national minorities and the indigenous population the Sámi people show that the history of Sweden could be seen as multicultural in several ways. This report gives a presentation of this history. It also attempts to show how the multicultural history of Sweden reflects itself in the current situation and political debate. Since the middle of the 1970s has Sweden officially adopted multiculturalism as a guiding policy with respect to immigrants and national minorities (even though immigrant groups were in focus when the policy was formulated). It is striking that the interests of so-called internal minorities such as the national minorities were more recognized in the light of the political attention directed towards immigrants, for example, with respect to language rights.