Balancing 'the heartless head and the headless heart'

Averting from chaos and crisis to a policy of sustainable immigration in Norway


  • Kristine Heimstad AAU Graduate



Originally a master’s thesis, this narrowed-down article aims at examining the term sustainable immigration by applying it to a Norwegian context. It concludes that the term lacks value due to its vague nature and finds that it is difficult to measure. Further, by assessing Norwegian immigration policy in terms of sustainability, the article showcases that i) Norway rescues fragile societies from mass despair by providing humanitarian aid, but by doing so, it promotes brain drain; ii) Norway assists and protects refugees on paper but rather doubtful in practice; iii) Norway’s voting patterns reveal citizens’ preference of restrictive immigration policies but opinion polls and surveys indicate a nuanced picture; iv) Norway makes an effort to inform would-be migrants but migrants still seek to be returned to their country of origin v) Norway disregards the origin state when drafting immigration policy and; vi) Norway bases its immigration policy on long-term demographic, economic and social forecasts.