Invitation to PhD defence by Louise Dånge

Invitation to PhD defence by Louise Dånge

Louise Dånge will defend her PhD thesis ”Insights into the experiences of young refugees and local integration policy workers during 2018 to 2020”


02.09.2022 kl. 13.00 - 16.00


Lecture theme: “Discuss alternative theoretical and methodological approaches for studying young refugees’ resettlement in Danish municipalities”.


Through a longitudinal qualitative study (2018-2020) I explored: a) how young refugees aged 18-24, experienced their resettlement in Danish municipalities, and b) how Local Integration Policy Workers experienced implementing national integration policies and their opportunities for supporting young refugees’ resettlement. During this two-year period, I applied semi-structured in-depth interviews and photovoice exercises to seek insight into their respective experiences. The longitudinal study design enabled me to explore if and how their experiences changed through time, and how these changes correlated to broader circumstances occurring in Danish society at the time. During the study, Danish integration policies underwent major changes including a paradigm shift in 2019, which entailed increasing emphasis on repatriation. Meanwhile the number of refugees granted residence permits markedly reduced. These changes greatly influenced the study participants’ experiences and formed the focal point for this thesis. The thesis consists of four articles. Engaging with Henrik Vigh’s concept ‘social navigation’, the first article explores young refugees’ social navigation and agentic possibilities for directing their lives towards their aspired futures, as the shifting political context affects the conditions for their lives. The second article explores Local Integration Policy Workers’ experiences of talking repatriation policies into being in their conversations with young refugees. In this article I draw on Bernardo Zacka’s theoretical framework (2017) and discuss how articulating repatriation policies affects Local Integration Policy Workers’ moral agency, and ultimately challenges the core and ethical principles of social work. In the third article I explore how municipalities adapt their implementation practices to the fluctuating numbers of arriving refugees. In this article I draw on the Street-level Bureaucracy literature to unfold how Local Integration Policy Workers experience that changing implementation practices influence their discretion and opportunities for supporting young refugees’ resettlement, and incorporate social support in their implementation efforts.

Assessment Committee





​Please register for the defence, either for being present at Campus Copenhagen or online, no later than 29 August 2022 at 12:00. Please register via this link.


If you have questions about the defence you are welcome to contact PhD secretary Marianne Høgsbro.

Download the invitation 


The Department of Sociology and Social Work, Aalborg University


Aalborg University Copenhagen, A. C. Meyers Vænge 15, Auditorium 1.008, 2450 København SV and online/Zoom,

Tilmelding inden

29.08.2022 kl. 12.00