The train that crosses the Oresund from Copenhagen to Malmö was nearly at its destination. As it pulled into the first stop, the doors stayed closed; gendarmes boarded and proceeded to check documents. For locals, used to a half-hour ride, the commute has more than doubled in duration. For the unfortunates pulled off the train, the ordeal would continue. The checks, new and broadly unpopular in Malmö, respond to the hostile reaction against refugees from Swedes who live far from the area. Both Denmark and Sweden are parties to the Schengen Agreement (1985) which allows for the free movement of their citizens as if they were in a single country. There are no checks on the way to Copenhagen.
Michael Forman is Associate Professor of Social and Political Theory and Human Rights at the University of Washington, Tacoma. His research focuses on human rights, globalization, and the transformations of the state. He is the author of several articles on the enlightenment, liberalism, socialism, and critical theory. His first book, Nationalism and the International Labor Movement: The Idea of the Nation in Socialist and Anarchist Theory, received the Michael Harrington Award from the Caucus for a New Political Science (1999).