Last week, the undersigned reviewed Mikkel Andersson and Niels Jespersen's book, 'The Experiment that Failed' in the newspaper Information, and stated that it has a selective way of dealing with sources which omits key points.
Even though the review aimed to be as close to the text and details as possible, certain aspects could not be deepened due to the lack of space. I am therefore grateful for this opportunity to elaborate on the problems of the book.
In general, the 192 pages of the book are provided with 66 endnotes, of which only two are research workers. This means that much of the great knowledge about migration, refugees, integration and asylum policy is passed over. Research can of course be discussed, and not all books should be filled with research literature.
But the authors' actual answer to the criticism of selectivity and omissions of literature is a concession that they "of course did not treat all materials that claims for or against their argument." But of course, the criticism does not require a review of 'all materials'.
The challenge is that although the book refers to interviews with a few researchers, typically in accordance with the authors views, it sparkles in the absence of a large Danish and international (interdisciplinary) research field, which has otherwise been referred to in Danish media. And this is problematic because the authors do not adequately challenge their own reasons, and because they criticize the same area of knowledge as being "politicized" and "activist".
To label the publication as an available 'debate book' does not address this issue unless you disagree with the view that debate can be separated from a legal basis.
The use of reports on the economic consequences of immigration, border controls and flight routes is also selective. The publication referees to the Ministry of Finance, which estimates immigration to be a expense, while Swedish and English reports that have considered immigration as economically beneficial are ignored.
Actors like the Danish Refugee Council, the Red Cross, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International or the Transnational Institute may not represent the authors views, but they have, nevertheless, produced relevant knowledge. Such humanitarian studies should of course be critically reviewed, but they are omitted instead.
The authors often refer to polls - but only those who confirm their opposition to asylum seekers and Muslim immigration.
Such polls exist but the problem is that the authors use them as knockdown arguments and do not mention other polls, which have shown that European populations have supported pan-European solutions or do not feel they have major problems with refugees in the local communities. For example, one Pew survey, which estimates a percentage of growth in the proportion of Muslim citizens, is mentioned, while another Pew survey, which has shown that the majority of European populations support the arrival of refugees, is bypassed.
Although the review is provided with a number of quotes and word choices, the charge of 'quotation fraud' is based only on one passage. Which the authors have misunderstood. Because it merely paraphrases their own view that 'the sunshine stories' of good integration is "inappropriate", "journalistic deviations".
And what is called 'quotation fraud' is not even these terms, but instead the following assumption that the 'sunshine stories' differ from 'the norm that Muslims commit a lot of crime'. However, this is not a quote, but instead the authors' own descriptions of a media norm, where Muslims are represented more criminal and unemployed. Which is precisely the author's point.
It is true that the authors states that the S-idea of camps in North Africa's camps is unrealistic and rejects it with a fear of an increased number of asylum applications, but the review does not assert that the authors support such a solution. Instead, it points out the authors' underlying framing of the causality of humanitarian tragedies at the borders of the EU because it is characterized by a number of assumptions that are also found behind the camp idea: Asylum stop, intervention against smugglers, closure of legal flight routes and retention of asylum seekers in neighborhoods.
The authors do not explain how they intend to ensure that all asylum seekers stay in the neighborhoods.
When it comes to asylum seekers in Denmark, the authors believe incorrectly that they are referring to Marie Krarup's performance in 'See you at Clements'.
However, the review merely describes the authors' own position as being closely linked to the Danish People's Party's official policy of segregation through the book's vision of the possibility of closing down both asylum and family reunification and that those who still manage to come to Denmark should as a general rule be isolated in structures like the latest generation of deportation camps operated by the Prison Service, without "any prospect of ... creating a permanent life in Denmark," as it is stated in the book.
Martin Lemberg-Pedersen, migration researcher
Mikkel Andersson & Niels Jespersen: 'The experiment that failed - Status of 35 years of Danish asylum policy', Gads Forlag, 192 pages, 250 kroner. "