Governing through hope: an exploration of hope and social change in an asylum context

View author details View Less
  • 1 University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • | 2 Linnaeus University, Sweden
Open access
Get eTOC alerts
Rights and permissions Cite this article

The aim of this article is to elaborate, theoretically, on the ambiguity of hope and its relation to social change in the asylum context. This ambiguity involves two different perspectives of hope. One more mundane view of hope where it is considered an emotion used to overcome complex issues and move towards a better situation in the future. A perspective often used by social and migration authorities to urge people to hope for a future should they submit to the authorities’ logic. The other perspective, more common in some research, challenges such positive connotations and argues that hope can put people in a position of suffering where hope may hinder or slow down the realisation of social change. With the aid of scholars who have theorised about hope and ethnographic cases from our research on hope in the asylum context, we develop a theoretical perspective on hope and social change. Our perspective includes concepts such as the governmentality of hope, fragmentation of hope and glimmers of hope. To grasp the relationship between hope and social change, we must account for several mixed emotions, such as feelings of despair, fear and bitterness, as well as glimmers of hope. Such mixtures of emotions may be essential to initiate and create social change. A central argument in this article is that an analysis of hope when people risk being governed by hope would benefit from a parallel analysis of social change.

Abstract

The aim of this article is to elaborate, theoretically, on the ambiguity of hope and its relation to social change in the asylum context. This ambiguity involves two different perspectives of hope. One more mundane view of hope where it is considered an emotion used to overcome complex issues and move towards a better situation in the future. A perspective often used by social and migration authorities to urge people to hope for a future should they submit to the authorities’ logic. The other perspective, more common in some research, challenges such positive connotations and argues that hope can put people in a position of suffering where hope may hinder or slow down the realisation of social change. With the aid of scholars who have theorised about hope and ethnographic cases from our research on hope in the asylum context, we develop a theoretical perspective on hope and social change. Our perspective includes concepts such as the governmentality of hope, fragmentation of hope and glimmers of hope. To grasp the relationship between hope and social change, we must account for several mixed emotions, such as feelings of despair, fear and bitterness, as well as glimmers of hope. Such mixtures of emotions may be essential to initiate and create social change. A central argument in this article is that an analysis of hope when people risk being governed by hope would benefit from a parallel analysis of social change.

Introduction

February 2020, Möllevångstorget, a square in downtown Malmö, Sweden. About two hundred people are gathered, many with red flags with the text ‘Refugees Welcome’. This afternoon, a demonstration is held against the sharpened migration policy in Sweden and the EU. A four-metre-long homemade backdrop hung at the podium with ‘No Borders’ painted. After a few speakers have made their speeches on solidarity and the cruel consequences of the current border regime, a man in his forties starts to speak. He presents himself as a refugee, and the word he frequently uses in his 10-minute speech is ‘hope’. He expresses anger and frustration by repeating ‘stop hoping’ and ‘don’t hope’. The man directs those words toward the participants who are not refugees at the demonstration. He wants them to think that while they are spending their time hoping, people are being deported to Afghanistan or suffering in refugee camps in Greece. (Observation note, February 2020)

Hope is sometimes celebrated as a ‘magic bullet solution’, improving individuals’ lives and providing them with positive thoughts about their future (see Schrank et al, 2008). Still, the man at the square opposes this ‘solution’. Instead, we will argue that he actively resists the mundane social norms constructing hope as a positive force toward social change. The mundane thought of hope as good needs to be related to the system he and others encounter when seeking asylum. This system consists of the migration authorities, social workers and other official agencies urging him and others to hope for a better future should they submit to the authorities’ logic. However, even if the man in the square submits to the logic of this and tries to achieve what he hopes for, this future might never come true. We will return to how this can be expressed empirically. For now, we want to stress that the ways authorities govern through hope can be understood as an expression of the late modern idea of an individualised and neoliberal society supported by the view of hope as a helpful concept within ‘the field of positive psychology’ (Ahmed, 2010: 3). However, such an unproblematic view is much discussed in research, where hope as a positive ‘magic bullet solution’ is heavily contested. This research tradition identifies hope as something people rely on instead of confronting the very causes of social and individual suffering, such as migration policies. From this perspective, hope is deceitful, an emotion that may hinder or slow down the realisation of social change (see Eagleton, 2017). Still, as hope can be used to govern people, it raises questions on how to, theoretically, understand this way of governing of people and hope’s relation to possible social change.

Although the literature on hope addresses these issues, a central argument in this article is that the linkage between hope and achievement indicates that a dialogue about hope also needs to discuss social change and what constitutes social change. This view is related to how Terry Eagleton (2017: 44, 8) views hope as a ‘basic modality of human existence’ … ‘built into the structure of reality itself’, and is essentially connected to optimism and a tendency to wait and refrain from challenging action in the present. As such, denunciation of optimism and hope can be necessary to create political change (see Žižek, 2018). But the link between hope and achievement is also related to how hope can be interpreted as a tool to manage the present through its temporal projection of a possible future (see Potamianou, 1997; Muñoz, 2009). In these cases, hope is seen as necessary to survive and maintain an identity in a cruel and dismissive world. These parallel views on hope, not necessarily contradictive, raise questions about how hope and social change are connected and understood.

Commonly, social change is analytically divided into different characteristics or levels (Watzlawick et al, 1974; Greenwood and Hinings, 1996). Different levels of social change can include individual changes and changes on a group level leading towards societal change and societal changes themselves. Meanwhile, different characteristics of social change can tell us something about what kind of social change is taking place. A change may occur within a social system, leaving it intact, but it is equally possible that alterations change the social system itself (de la Sablonnière et al, 2009). Our ambition is not to evaluate hope but instead to suggest that, theoretically, hope must be related to a theoretical discussion on social change. Discussing the concepts of hope and social change together is vital because people’s hope can be exploited to maintain the status quo. Meanwhile, people can simultaneously use it to survive in a cruel world. Thus, the aim is elaborate, theoretically, on the ambiguity of hope and its relation to social change.

We will use three in-depth cases taken from an ethnographic study on asylum seekers in Sweden to illustrate and discuss our theoretical approach to hope and social change. This material was collected from 2018 to 2021 and consisted of ethnographic observations, interviews and informal talks with 35 individuals and families with different backgrounds in terms of gender and social situation. Although three cases are at the centre of our attention in this article, all interviews have provided significant input to the analytical and theoretical elaborations. The qualitative interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim, while the observations and informal talks were documented using field notes, including descriptive information and analytical reflections. The participants have told us about their everyday life experiences, including waiting and meeting various authorities, and their feelings, such as hope and hopelessness. What they have talked about can be directly connected to political decisions (Fontanari, 2019) that have placed them in highly precarious social positions. Although having experiences from different countries, they all share the experiences of navigating a European migration context where temporality (in terms of residency, work permits, housing, and so on) has become the norm and where people are drawn into processes of waiting for authority decisions (Fontanari, 2019).

The article is structured as follows. First, we discuss existing literature on hope before discussing the renewed interest in hope in migration research and how hope can be a supportive emotion and be included in an exercise of power. The following section then presents three ethnographic cases where hope is present in some form or another. These will empirically illustrate the concept of hope related to power regimes and possible social change. From this, we analyse hope as it is used as a tool to govern within a neoliberal system. To avoid pitfalls, we then argue that hope is, and must be, related to how we understand social change. The article ends by suggesting a combined approach where hope, associated concepts and social change are analysed together to suit reality in a migration context.

The ambiguity of hope

As mentioned, the literature on hope contains, broadly speaking, two ways of looking at hope in terms of social and political change. Freire (1994: 9) argues for a dialectic relation between struggle and hope, declaring that ‘without a minimum of hope, we cannot so much as start the struggle. But without the struggle, hope dissipates, loses its bearings, and turns into hopelessness.’ This argument is in line with research on hope among marginalised or oppressed groups of people, where hope is seen as a force of change as it makes it possible to survive in the present by finding hope in the future. As Jose Esteban Muñoz (2009) argues, the present is a prison from where hope can help maintain queer lives and identities. Similarly, hope has been described as a tool that must be cultivated to resist melancholy, apathy and epistemological uncertainty (Parla, 2019). This position is taken by, among others, Rebecca Solnit (2016), who argues for nurturing a collective political hope, and by Davina Cooper’s (2014) conceptualisation of the practice of everyday utopias.

Hirokazu Miyazaki (2006) and Katie Stockdale (2021) are examples of researchers elaborating on how hope can have different meanings to different groups of people. Miyazaki writes about ‘enduring hope’ as a confirmation of self-knowledge and identity among the Suvavou people continuously trying to receive compensation from the Fiji government for their ancestral land. Regardless of the fact that they keep getting turned down, their enduring hope for compensation becomes part of their self-knowledge as Suvavou people.

Ayşe Parla (2019) distinguishes between entitled hope and precarious hope. ‘Entitled hope’ is connected to expectations related to possibilities. In contrast, ‘precarious hope’ captures the uncertainty, unpredictability and insecurity forcing people to ‘hope against hope’ (Stockdale, 2021) or to develop a ‘critical hope’ that resists ‘representations of the future’ by not focusing on a final goal but on transformation (see also Webb, 2007; Cook, 2018: 393). Precarious hope appears among people living under oppression. Stockdale (2021: 26) argues that hope under oppression ‘is frequently an unpleasant attitude through which agents emotionally respond to the possibility of escaping dangerous conditions’. Among these researchers, hope is considered crucial for social change, but not in a simple way. Instead, it is a messy and ambiguous concept, used to induce change, gain what is considered your right, and strengthen identity and self-knowledge.

However, other researchers argue that specific versions of hope may hinder or slow down social and political change. Eagleton (2017: 44) writes: ‘[H]ope is a fetishism of the future, one that reduces the past to so much prologue and the present to mere empty expectance. There are accordingly times when it does not sound all that different from despair. Hope is nothing more than an imaginative future already present in this sense. Eagleton connects this discussion to Claire Colebrook’s concept of ‘hopeless feminism’, which argues that the only way to achieve utopia is through hopelessness (see also hooks, 1990). Colebrook (2010: 323) quotes Henri Bergson’s claim that hope has a ‘split temporal structure’ where hopes for the future are based on present ‘figures and concepts’. Such hope tends to make people stuck in a particular social and political context, thus counteracting political resistance and social change. Similarly, Slavoj Žižek (2018: 290) argues that we must ‘embrace the courage that comes with hopelessness’ to be able to change the very ‘coordinates’ of the situation.

Thus, the literature on hope provides both positive interpretations, where hope is considered essential to spark social and political change, and more critical approaches where the implications of hope differ among groups and can prevent social and political change. However, in the asylum context, hope is essential to understanding the power play between the state, authorities and asylum seekers living highly precarious lives. Therefore, as discussed in the next section, we see an increasing interest in hope in the asylum context.

Hope and governmentality in the asylum context

One reason behind our approach to hope and social change is a renewed interest in subjectivity and emotions, such as hope, as analytical tools in migration research (Fontanari, 2019). Hope is conditioned by acts of bordering and the effects of borders on the everyday lives of people (Kazemi, 2021). In addition, hope can be interpreted as helpful during uncertain times related to having to flee from previous contexts, the ongoing flight and life in new contexts (Khosravi, 2017; Kleist and Thorsen, 2017). In these perspectives, hope is related to providing energy, motivation and agency to navigate and move towards diffuse or concrete goals in the future.

During our empirical research, hope appeared as a supportive emotion on an individual level. Participants described how a loss of hope led them to attempt suicide, indicating that experiencing hope is essential for survival. At other times, hope has worked as an emotional crutch to support them through seemingly hopeless waiting or give them the energy to embark on a continuous escape (Elsrud, 2020; Elsrud and Lalander, 2022). Hoping for a political change has also led participants to join organisations and mobilise to protest against asylum law restrictions and for asylum rights. Using the words of Cooper (2014), such collective resistance and production of critical hope (see Webb, 2007) in seemingly hopeless political situations may be understood as cultivating hope in concrete everyday utopias, transforming normality and subjectivity in the present (Cook, 2018).

Thus, hope can manifest differently depending on context and have quite different, even contradictive outcomes, on different levels – from an individual, via groups, to societal levels. Below we argue that shaping and controlling hope may be utilised in an exercise of power.

According to Michel Foucault (1980), power is a productive force, not simply repressive. Power is constituted through strategic relational processes aimed at people’s behaviour using various technologies and procedures (Foucault, 1980). These achievements are made through what Foucault calls technologies of governmentality — actions and technologies aimed at shaping people’s emotions and actions rather than using physical violence or force (see Fontanari, 2019: 190). Governments and authorities arrange conditions to achieve specific aims (Foucault, 1991). The exercise of power becomes an issue of guiding and shaping both how people act and feel and the possible outcomes from such acts and emotions. Such technologies can be understood as connected to a neoliberal economic system and ideology to maintain control and status quo by producing docile bodies or individual subjects that do not threaten the overall system (Herz and Lalander, 2018). We will use this ‘Foucaldian’ perspective to discuss how creating hope, or ‘glimmers of hope’ (Fontanari, 2019: 194) in the asylum context, may be interpreted as a production of ‘docile bodies’ (Foucault, 1991; Herz and Lalander, 2018). However, it is essential to emphasise that docility does not equal a lack of resistance. There is always resistance where there is power, as exemplified by the man in the opening quotation of this article.

Related to this perspective of the technologies of governmentality is Sara Ahmed’s (2010) understanding of happiness and her critical reading of the widespread influence of positive psychology in everyday life. Ahmed argues that ‘positive’ feelings are often treated as being isolated from ‘negative’ ones. Further, concepts such as ‘happiness’ or ‘hope’ are normative, as they help to govern what is considered good or bad feelings and behaviour (Ahmed, 2010: 8). A similar discussion on ‘suitable feelings’ relates to the concept of the ‘feminist killjoy’ (Ahmed, 2010: 50), who is not just a person creating a bad atmosphere but someone initiating change by generating emotions in and through a structural, or relational, bad atmosphere that is already present. Since happiness is intricately connected to social norms, political activism becomes activism against happiness (Ahmed, 2010: 50). Transferring Ahmed’s discussion to hope, the man quoted in the introduction appears as a political activist resisting the social norms that construct hope as a positive force for change. Thus, he rejects the manifest relationship between hope and social change.

Ahmed’s theoretical position is very much in line with how Eagleton (2017) considers pessimism to be subversive, how hooks (1990) sees hopelessness as grounds for liberation and how Colebrook (2010) regards pessimism as vital for change. Stockdale, in turn, discusses how ‘bitterness’ can be related to social justice by referring to Lynne McFall, who views bitterness as ‘a refusal to forgive and forget moral wrongs that have disappointed one’s important hopes’ (McFall cited in Stockdale, 2021: 118). Thus, Stockdale sees bitterness as ‘caused by unresolved social and political injustices’ and as a “‘moral reminder” about a past or persistent injustice, indicating that there is still moral and often political work to do’ (2021: 142). In Alison M. Jaggar’s (1989: 166) words, bitterness can be considered an ‘outlaw emotion’ since members of oppressed groups may use it as a political act of resistance to protest injustices shaping their lives.

In line with Ahmed’s normative concept of happiness, Eagleton (2017: 4) argues that optimism is ‘a typical component of ruling-class ideologies’. He also claims that optimism is conservative since it is based on a sound belief that the present holds the answer to the future (see Žižek, 2018). Since hope blends in well with optimism towards the present and late modern positive psychology aiming at individual fulfilment it may be used as a ‘mood induction technique’ (Ahmed, 2010: 8) or as a ‘politically useful stimulant’ (Eagleton, 2017: 11) to govern people’s souls (Rose, 1996). We argue that emotions such as hope, despair, suffering and bitterness may be entangled and difficult to separate from each other. Significantly, concepts often interpreted as being the opposites of hope can also relate to agency and social change (Ahmed, 2010). However, keeping emotions separated and hierarchised is an essential method in the technologies of governmentality (Foucault, 1980). By using this theoretical inspiration, we may ‘identify the signs of power domination imposed upon some categories of people, whose suffering and vulnerability has to be read as politically and socially produced’ (Fontanari, 2019: 191).

To analyse how hope can be used as part of a technology of governmentality in the asylum context, we must also link it to time and agency. The link is evident in hope’s ‘split temporal structure’ (Colebrook, 2010: 323). There is a temporal connotation to the concept, whereby having something to hope for and act towards in the near or distant future is also based on the present. However, Kallio et al (2021: 1) discuss how time also represents a technology of governmentality where the ‘refugees and asylum seekers’ lives have been placed within spaces of waiting, continual uncertainty and limbo’. Their own autonomous time is taken (Fontanari, 2019: 77). As argued by Pierre Bourdieu (2000: 228), controlling people’s time ‘and the rate of fulfilment of expectations’ can be seen as ‘an art of “turning down” without “turning off”, of keeping people motivated without driving them to despair’. Thus, we argue that controlling people’s time and emotions (for example, hope and despair) is an efficient technology of governmentality, intending to create docile bodies. Although hope can be used to manage the present through fighting for a possible future, relying on hope as the fuel for realising a certain future can also create a ‘stuckedness’ (Hage, 2009; Kleist and Thorsen, 2017; Elsrud, 2020). Stuckedness is a situation of waiting and getting nowhere while anticipating and hoping for a better future. This hope results in people accepting their position even under extreme precariousness.

In line with this discussion, we argue that the emotions often considered to be ‘positive’ can contribute to a social and political status quo. In contrast, ‘negative’ emotions may carry a political potential through their anti-normative standpoint. The political potential and possibilities for social change lie in reframing hope and the associated ideas and emotions that commonly maintain and stabilise the current order. To grasp the emotional concepts’ political implications, we should not treat them or the phenomenological experiences they try to capture and describe as opposites, nor as pure and unattached emotions. Instead, we need to treat these concepts as ambiguous and entangled with each other and relate them to the issue of social change.

Ethnographic cases with fragmented and governed hope

In this section, we present three in-depth ethnographic cases to discuss and visualise hope as a concept: its many qualities, its opposites and its relation to agency and social change. These cases exemplify the broader tendencies reflected throughout the larger ethnographic study, but they also allow us to theorise the relationship between hope and social change. The people we meet share the experiences of a European border regime, where they are being stopped and losing time and opportunities due to the politics of migration (Fontanari, 2019). They also share a wish and a hope for a safe future. The cases expose hope’s relationship to power and the entanglement with ‘negative’ emotions. The first case illustrates how negative emotions and expressions may be seen as potential political messages. The second case visualises how ‘glimmers of hope’ can constitute a technique of governmentality. The third case shows us how hope relates to the production of uncertainty, a fragmentation of hope, and the production of ‘stuckedness’.

Hama on hope and bitterness

Twenty-year-old Hama lived in Sweden for four years while waiting for a decision on his asylum application. After the third and final rejection from the Migration Court of Appeal, he decided to flee to Italy while awaiting deportation. He left a social life behind in Sweden with friends, school, and possible future paths. When we met Hama for the first time in Italy in mid-November 2019, he had been there for four months. He was waiting for a decision from the Italian authorities on whether they would accept him as an asylum seeker or send him back to Sweden following the Dublin regulation. Two years later, in the early winter of 2021, he is still waiting.

On one occasion, we explicitly discuss the concept of hope. Hama says that hope is essential to “fight for what you want, but it is not easy to hope”. He seems to consider hope to be a kind of energy helping him to reach future goals. Still, he finds it hard to motivate himself to summon more energy. He has hoped “so many times”, “but it has not happened”. He continues: “I always lose hope, get disappointed. I think a lot about Sweden, the life I left. They took my life away from me, I will never forget that.” Difficult experiences appear to have made it harder for him to stay positive for the future. It seems to put him in a state of ambiguity and bitterness rather than a hopeful position. Nevertheless, he says, “I won’t stop fighting,” signalling there is still some type of hope. Hama’s thoughts appear directed toward the past and his present life, and, more diffusely and uncertainly, towards the future. Hama’s way of looking at his life and future is reminiscent of the concept of critical hope resisting ‘representations of the future’ (see also Webb, 2007; Cook, 2018: 393).

According to Stockdale’s (2021) understanding of bitterness, Hama’s talk about unfulfilled hopes and a life that has been taken away can make him appear bitter. He is stuck in passivity and past times, unable to move forward or work for the future. ‘Negative’ thoughts constantly occupy his mind. Nevertheless, he is also occupied by his biographic reality, with things that have already happened and keep happening. In our conversations, he depicts the cruel reality of the asylum system’s administrative violence and not being believed by the authorities, which led to the severe disruption of his lifecycle. By repeating phrases such as “I will never forget that!” he conserves the reality and social injustice that have plagued his life. Hama is suffering, rather than expressing a pronounced hope for the future. He tells us about his life: “It’s like a computer; sleeping, waking up, staying at home, time just goes by. I experience nothing, depressed, sad. Sometimes I don’t want to talk to anybody.”

He expresses passivity, suffering, depression and ‘negative’ feelings, where everything is repeated (like a computer), but this does not equal being passive. Ahmed (2010: 210) argues that ‘… suffering is a kind of activity, a way of doing something. To suffer can mean to feel your disagreement with what has been judged as good. Given this, suffering is a receptivity that can heighten the capacity to act.’ Hama also tells us that someday he will fight against the migration authorities. His thoughts about fighting originate in his biography and the injustices, suffering, and bitterness involved. Thus, as Ahmed (2010) claims, ‘negative’ feelings are activities. They can be performed as resistance to social injustice toward social change. They are emotions that can motivate people to act towards social change (see hooks, 1990; Colebrook, 2010; Cooper, 2014; Eagleton, 2017).

Faven on fragmented and short-term hope

Faven is 65 and has lived in Sweden for 15 years. She once fled Eritrea and has recently received her third and final rejection from the Migration Court of Appeal; thus, she must leave Sweden. Faven has agreed to do so. However, she lacks a passport. She must get an appointment with the Eritrean embassy to get a passport, but they have a six-month waiting period. This chain of obstacles creates an uncertain timespan that she must handle. It puts her in a situation where she no longer can work or receive money from the Swedish Migration Agency because she is supposed to leave the country, and social services have no legal obligation to help her. After seeking help at social services and being denied any support, she tells us she no longer feels any hope for the future. Faven is in despair and suffering from precariousness, homelessness, and living without money and food. Every day revolves around surviving.

The local church helps Faven and lets her sleep on a sofa. With their aid, she returns to social services to get some help. This time she is granted money for food, approximately 30 SEK (about 3 EUR), which is not enough for one proper meal given the cost of living in Sweden. She is also granted shelter for a couple of days. Faven feels that her hope increases. She now believes that social services will keep helping her until she can get an appointment at the embassy. Temporarily, she does not need to worry about surviving on a day-to-day basis and can focus on her future instead. This future, however, is highly uncertain since it means deportation and most likely prolonged precariousness and suffering.

When Faven returns to social services for the third time, her application is rejected again. Once more, she must reorient herself towards her desperate present and focus on surviving day by day. Even if social services have decided not to help her, she returns daily, trying to get help. Her reason for continuously reaching out is related to having received support once, inducing a feeling that, possibly, they may help again, and to her desperation caused by a lack of shelter and food. Thus, she returns following an emotional combination of hope and despair – what Parla (2019) calls precarious hope.

Faven tells us that she needs hope to cope. However, this hope is not just mixed with ‘negative’ emotions such as despair. It is also temporary and short-lived. The temporary aid from social services provides her with precarious hope. Their plan was never to help Faven permanently; it was temporarily only, providing her with shelter and food. This help is vital to Faven, but people become pinioned in precariousness through their provision of support on a temporary and uncertain basis. This situation is reminiscent of Fontanari’s (2019) argument that waiting times combined with ‘glimmers of hope’ constitute a technique of governmentality (Foucault, 1991).

The interaction between Faven and social services fragments hope and entangles it with despair and suffering in a day-by-day process. While receiving temporary aid, she feels glimmers of hope, not towards a distant future but a few days ahead. Thus, her version of hope is temporal, short-lived and precarious, as is the fixedness in her social situation. Her life situation does not provide a way forward, and she gets stuck.

Amina and Salim being governed into stuckedness

Salim and Amina arrived in Sweden from Syria. Unlike Faven and Hama, they received a permit to stay. However, after 2015, Sweden staged several restrictions on migration policy (Kazemi, 2021) that affected Salim and Amina. Their residence permit is only temporary, being extended by no more than two years at a time. This temporariness puts them in a situation where they remain very uncertain about their future. They are provided with a temporary apartment and must secure a steady job to prove that they are worthy of staying permanently. Both tasks – getting a permanent apartment and a steady job – are complicated, particularly if you lack social and economic resources.

The couple spends a lot of time learning Swedish, finishing school, and finding employment to present to the Migration Agency. They hope to manage this in time for when their residency runs out. The welfare system sometimes provides financial support, but it is only temporary, like Faven’s case. Therefore, they are left in precariousness and uncertainty, unable to do anything other than hope to complete the next step towards getting accepted to stay. The welfare system dictates the temporality of their lives (see Kallio et al, 2020). They do not have much of their own ‘autonomous time’ to make long-term plans (Fontanari, 2019). Instead, the government forces them to hope in, and for, tiny steps – getting any job, getting a steady job, finding an apartment – rather than big ones such as getting to stay indefinitely. A couple of months later, Salim finally gets a job at a recruitment agency. It is only temporary, but he is happy and hopes it will soon turn into a steady job.

‘I have a steady job now.’ Salim explains that he talked to his boss about his situation and the boss agreed to hire him permanently as a favour. Salim turned in all the paperwork to the Migration Agency but has encountered another problem. The Migration Agency requested financial documents from the employer because the company is a recruitment agency. ‘My boss told me that they don’t want to spread their files around like that.’ Salim is still trying to understand what the Migration Agency wants. (Observation note, November 2019)

A steady job is no longer enough. Instead, it must be a job at a company deemed ‘reliable’ by the Migration Agency. Amina and Salim’s situation exemplifies how they keep experiencing glimmers of hope and a mix and fragmentation of different emotions. Their circumstances show how their emotions fluctuate in constant interplay with the political and social situation. They have a hard time knowing how to change their situation, except for hoping the next step will be the last to qualify for permanent residency. The Swedish welfare state produces uncertainty by producing new goals for Amina and Salim to hope for and try to reach. Every time they almost reach a solution, new things to hope for are created, and further steps must be taken. Following Bourdieu’s (2000: 228) argument, we interpret this as a governing technology to keep people motivated without driving them into total despair. The consequence of this technology is that Amina and Salim never know when they will finally reach the end: the stage where they can control and plan their own time and lives. Their hope is ‘fragmented’. Their situation is characterised by a production of uncertainty and ‘stuckedness’ (Hage, 2009; Kleist and Thorsen, 2017). Salim and Amina are stuck hoping for a future that never seems to arrive.

Neoliberal governing through time and hope

Hama, Faven, Amina and Salim’s everyday lives and futures are all affected by political decisions. They are sometimes provided with decisions in line with what they hope for, only to get their hopes shattered again. These examples also illustrate how precarious situations become even more precarious when the state, including social services or the Migration Agency, keeps inventing new obstacles to overcome to become more included in Swedish society. This oscillation between extremes gives rise to suffering, precariousness and a lack of control. The fragmentation of hope they experience is a central aspect of their precariousness, and is a mechanism that breaks up and shortens the available timeframe of hope’s orientation towards the future. Their hope is reduced from hoping for a safe and just long-term future to overcoming different, short-term obstacles without knowing whether or not it is possible to complete the entire course of barriers. The production of uncertainty and fragmentation of hope can restrict the possibilities to hope for an equal and socially just future. By keeping people busy and relatively docile, any challenging requests for social change by them that would benefit their future can be counteracted. Providing people with glimmers of hope (Fontanari, 2019), without enabling their dreams and wishes, can reproduce their obedience towards the current social system and create a ‘stuckedness’ of suffering (see Ahmed, 2010; Eagleton, 2017).

At least three questions follow the arguments so far presented. First, how is it possible to theoretically understand the fragmentation of hope induced by the authorities? Second, can hope provide the possibility of changing the social situation in these cases? Third, is fragmented hope a way to restrain people’s hope for social change rather than providing a basis for social change? To answer these questions, we argue that it is necessary to discuss hope combined with social change and how the fragmentation of hope is related to a neoliberal governing through hope.

As an emotion and a way of thinking, hope must be related to its social and political contexts, both in terms of what is hoped for, thus valued in society, and how hope should be pursued to become fulfilled. Hope is entangled with political interests and with how people, as political subjects, are shaped by power relations (Eagleton, 2017). Again, using Ahmed’s words, emotions involve ‘a form of orientation’ that is assumed ‘to follow from some life choices and not others’ (Ahmed, 2010: 54). Hope is political, and as political subjects, we are expected to hope for certain things in certain ways. We are oriented towards specific objects and away from others.

A concrete example of one governing rationality evident in these ethnographic cases is how specific conditions permeate the relationship between the authorities and people. This relationship is expressed, for instance, by shortening the available timeframe of hope, as previously described, and by using waiting times. Probably most importantly, this relationship plays out in the potential of a possible future becoming achievable if the individual adapts while certain conditions are met. Amina and Salim are not supposed to hope for unconditional residency in Sweden. However, they are still allowed to hope for a job that, theoretically, may lead to residency in the future. They are oriented towards the workplace rather than asylum and safety through residency.

Glimmers of hope (Fontanari, 2019) lock people up in waiting. There is always a theoretical chance that what is hoped for might be realised soon, and if not, it may arrive in a more distant future. This uncertain wait can create docility based on the fear of missing out on possible change – so people wait. However, waiting does not mean inactivity and docility only (Ahmed, 2010). As described, Hama’s thoughts about his past life and his ‘bitterness’ (Stockdale, 2021) while waiting for a future decision from the Italian authorities may also be interpreted as activities (Ahmed, 2010) where a critique of an unjust system can be developed (see Eagleton, 2017). Hama and others form a critical hope (Webb, 2007; Cook, 2018), which could be used in practising collective hope, cultivating concrete everyday utopias (Cooper, 2014), and visions about a more just society. These utopias are not uncritically optimistic but instead build on both history and the present to create ‘new conceptual lines’ and, thus, something beyond a hegemonic neoliberal ideology.

To sum up, neoliberal hope urges people to keep hoping and submitting themselves to specific self-development regimes, while continuously claiming to improve their futures (Petersen and Wilkinson, 2015; Eagleton, 2017). For example, a regime might require people to speak flawless Swedish to improve their chances of getting work, which would eventually provide them with at least the prospect of increased opportunities to stay in Sweden. Furthermore, neoliberalism nourishes individualised hope to conceal the possible articulation of social justice. The character of this individualised governed emotion of hope is that it is not ‘oriented […] to social change but rather to accommodating individuals to their present circumstances and to making them more “resilient” and better placed to face the challenges of the future rather than working toward a new future’ (Petersen and Wilkinson, 2015: 116). Governed emotions of hope can place people in a permanent ‘stuckedness’ wherein they only adapt to the current social order for fear of missing out on a potential opportunity. Should people hope too much for something or lose hope for change to come, it would create a possible threat to the current social order (cf. Eagleton, 2017). Thus, hope needs to stay fragmented enough to keep people docile and the system intact. If hope is used as part of neoliberal governance, the question remains whether hope can or cannot contribute to social change other than as an individualised alteration. This question will be discussed in the next section.

Hope, hopelessness, and social change

Whether hope can induce social change or not makes it essential to discuss what social change is and how it can be related to the emotion of hope. First, we will briefly discuss different approaches to social change in the literature. Second, we will present a theoretical view on social change, taking the different levels and the different characteristics of change that are possible to achieve into consideration.

Sociologists sometimes talk about dramatic social change that produces ‘a complete rupture in the equilibrium of social structures because their adaptive capacities are surpassed’ (de la Sablonnière et al, 2009: 325). Such profound changes can be linked to environmental hazards, wars, migration influxes, and other issues affecting entire societies. However, social change can also be less pronounced and drastic than these examples but still affect whole communities or societies. Individual or personal change can turn into ‘profound societal transformations’ over time (de la Sablonnière and Usborne, 2014). In other words, there is no clear-cut division between individual and social change.

It is possible to imagine that changes at different levels can sometimes be desirable. Both short-term changes for the individual and a ‘profound societal transformation’ may be desirable when discussing social needs of housing, food and security. Finding a place to sleep temporarily, for instance, can sometimes be ‘enough’ of a change. It can solve an acute issue, at least temporarily, as it did for Faven. The character of Hama’s future – whether it will be a future of uncertainty or not – depends on his success in receiving temporary asylum. Although gaining temporary asylum can be important for Hama, and a bed to sleep in is critical for Faven, these changes do not equal a change in the social system that created these vulnerable conditions in the first place.

Therefore, it is essential to distinguish between the different characteristics of change that can take place. Research on organisations sometimes distinguishes between convergent change and radical change. Convergent changes occur inside an organisation without the existing ‘orientation’ of the organisation being changed. Radical changes transform the structure of an organisation. They change an organisation’s ‘orientation’ (Greenwood and Hinings, 1996). Convergent change is sometimes labelled first-order change, while radical change is considered an alteration of the second order (Watzlawick et al, 1974). Convergent changes can occur at different levels – for instance, individually or societal – yet still leave the social system intact. Radical changes also change the social system. A distinction can be made between ‘more of the same’ and ‘doing something else’ (Watzlawick et al, 1974).

Applying these distinctions between the different characteristics of change to the analysis of our earlier examples, we can argue that when Faven receives a place to sleep, her situation changes but only temporarily. It does not change her living conditions, nor does it change how the social system / society treats her or other people in a similar situation. The change does not include ‘doing something else’. It is not a radical social change. It is a convergent change using ‘more of the same’, contributing to glimmers of hope for a possible long-term change where her need for a place to sleep is solved for good. In theory, this allows the ‘system’ to continue avoiding problematic issues such as a lack of housing for some individuals or groups by providing more of the same. At the same time, Faven, caught in the shackles of fragmented hope, copes by hoping for a better future. Only when hope for change inside an existing social system is abandoned – or, alternatively, when critical hope is articulated and overcomes injustices by building on past and present experiences – can changing the system be considered to solve the issue at hand (see Freire, 1994; Cooper, 2014; Eagleton, 2017).

When analysing social change, it is critical to consider the level and characteristics of change. The level tells us something about where the change is taking place or where it starts but tells us nothing about whether or not this change alters the very conditions of the social system. The characteristics tell us whether the change provides us with ‘more of the same’ or ‘something else’. When applying hope as a theoretical concept to people’s lives governed by hope, it is essential to consider these different aspects of social change and what type of hope we are discussing. Otherwise, we may not pay enough attention to the fact that hope may govern people into stuckedness, thereby preventing social change. In addition, such a discussion must include the ‘negative’ feelings / activities of hopelessness, despair and bitterness and their contributions to agency, political solidarity and everyday utopias when working towards social justice.

Relating hope to social change

Hope can be crucial to people, especially in extreme hardship and precariousness. Hope can provide fuel to protest or demand rights and social justice (Freire, 1994; Solnit, 2016). However, hope is also complex and paradoxical. It is contextual and intertwined with other emotions (Ahmed, 2010; Eagleton, 2017), layers of power (Mattingly, 2010), constraints and uncertainty, not least in the asylum-seeking context. To understand the relationship between hope and social change in an asylum context, we must account for several mixed emotions as participants navigate through feelings of despair, fear, anger, and bitterness mixed with glimmers of hope. These mixed emotions of fear, despair, hopelessness and hope seem to force us to strive for another possible future.

In addition, we have shown how hope can become a political tool to prevent social change, especially in a migration context. A short-term convergent change in being provided temporary asylum, a bed overnight or a short-term job does not lead to a radical shift in the social system. However, the fragmented glimmers of hope that make people wait around for such a short-term or temporary gain seem to keep them in place, making them resilient towards present ordeals. This situation is what the man at the square warned about. The fragmentation of hope can lead to a stuckedness where no social change occurs but where enough hope for a possible solution within the social system can still be evoked (Eagleton, 2017). People can receive glimmers of hope if they hold on to a (theoretical) chance of reaching the desired future one day (cf. Eagleton, 2017). However, to receive continual hints of a better future – for instance, solving one demand only to find out you need to solve another – can lead to stuckedness. Such stuckedness is the case for people searching for permanent safety, who keep receiving temporal solutions with the potential promise of a future permanent solution should they just keep on hoping.

The state apparatus can govern people and maintain the status quo by exploiting and controlling their time and hopes (Miller and Rose, 2008). The fragmentation of hope is related to hope’s political dimension and the neoliberal ideology of hope (Petersen and Wilkinson, 2015). As power relations shape political subjects, people and their emotions involve an orientation where they are compelled to follow some lines, almost like a trail, before others (Ahmed, 2010). Such orientation is apparent in the relationship between the authorities and Hama, Faven, Amina and Salim. Their relationships with the authorities are permeated by specific conditions and strategies to keep them sufficiently docile and in their place. These strategies manifest as short-termism and waiting times that produce uncertainty, fragmentation of hope, and the promise of a possible future that may become achievable if certain conditions are met. Instead, a critical hope is needed to resist the power and oppression of neoliberal society. Such hope emanates from ‘negative emotions’ and experiences from both the past and the present that can be transformed into a critical collective hope that acts out ‘new conceptual lines’ (Cooper, 2014). Still, the prosperity of hope needs to be related to a theoretical discussion of social change.

A central argument in this article is that an analysis of hope when people risk being governed by hope would benefit from a parallel analysis of social change. Combining hope and social change allows us to consider hope as a crucial emotion for people in precariousness without losing focus on the very causes of their precariousness within the present. Given the growing exploitation of migrants and people seeking asylum in European neoliberal states (de Genova, 2017), there is an urgent need for perspectives that scrutinise the harsh conditions that are in place to provide restrictions and difficulties rather than opportunities and asylum. Our work shows that approaching the asylum context with a problematising perspective on hope unveils critical routines and processes through which states manage and control people’s individual goals and dreams while not changing the system in a more generous and welcoming direction.

Funding

This work was supported by the Swedish Research Council under grant no. 2017-01562.

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the people who generously have shared their experiences with us, our colleague Jesper Andreasson, and the anonymous reviewers for helping us to improve our article.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

References

  • Ahmed, S. (2010) The Promise of Happiness, London: Duke University Press.

  • Bourdieu, P. (2000) Pascalian Meditations, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

  • Colebrook, C. (2010) Toxic feminism: hope and hopelessness after feminism, Journal for Cultural Research, 14(4): 232335. doi: 10.1080/14797581003765291

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cook, J.A. (2018) Hope, utopia, and everyday life: some recent developments, Utopian Studies, 29(3): 38097. doi: 10.5325/utopianstudies.29.3.0380

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cooper, D. (2014) Everyday Utopias: The Conceptual Life of Promising Spaces, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • de Genova, N. (ed.) (2017) The Borders of ‘Europe’: Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • de la Sablonnière, R. and Usborne, E. (2014) Toward a social psychology of social change: insights from identity process theory, in R. Jaspal and G.M. Breakwell (eds) Identity Process Theory: Identity, Social Action and Social Change, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • de la Sablonnière, R., Taylor, D.M., Perozzo, C. and Sadykova, N. (2009) Reconceptualising relative deprivation in the context of dramatic social change: the challenge confronting the people of Kyrgyzstan, European Journal of Social Psychology, 39: 32545.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Eagleton, T. (2017) Hope Without Optimism, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

  • Elsrud, T. (2020) Resisting social death with dignity. The strategy of re-escaping among young asylum-seekers in the wake of Sweden’s sharpened asylum laws, European Journal of Social Work, 23(3): 50013. doi: 10.1080/13691457.2020.1719476

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Elsrud, T. and Lalander, P. (2022) Precariousness among young migrants in Europe: a consequence of exclusionary mechanisms within state-controlled neoliberal social work in Sweden, Critical and Radical Social Work, 10(1): 7792. doi: 10.1332/204986021X16215151035945

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fontanari, E. (2019) Lives in Transit: An Ethnographic Study of Refugees’ Subjectivity Across European Borders, London: Routledge.

  • Foucault, M. (1980) Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972–1977, New York: Pantheon.

  • Foucault, M. (1991) Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, New York: Vintage Books.

  • Freire, P. (1994) Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed, New York: Continuum.

  • Greenwood, R. and Hinings, C.R. (1996) Understanding radical organisational change: bringing together the old and the new institutionalism, Academy of Management Review, 21(4): 102254. doi: 10.2307/259163

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hage, G. (2009) Waiting out the crisis: on stuckedness and governmentality, in G. Hage (ed.), Waiting, Victoria: Melbourne University Publishing, pp 97106.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Herz, M. and Lalander, P. (2018) Neoliberal management of social work in Sweden, in M. Kamali and J.H. Jönsson (eds) Neoliberalism, Nordic Welfare States and Social Work: Current and Future Challenges, New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • hooks, b. (1990) Postmodern blackness, Postmodern Culture, 1(1), doi: 10.1353/pmc.1990.0004.

  • Jaggar, A.M. (1989) Love and knowledge: emotion in feminist epistemology, Inquiry, 32(2): 15176. doi: 10.1080/00201748908602185

  • Kallio, K.P., Meier, I. and Häkli, J. (2021) Radical hope in asylum seeking: political agency beyond linear temporality, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 47(17): 400622. doi: 10.1080/1369183X.2020.1764344

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kazemi, B. (2021) Unaccompaniedminors (Un-)made in Sweden: Ungrievable Lives and Access to Rights Produced Through Policy, [PhD thesis], Gothenburg, Sweden: Gothenburg University.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Khosravi, S. (2017) Precarious Lives: Waiting and Hope in Iran, Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

  • Kleist, N. and Thorsen, D. (2017) Hope and Uncertainty in Contemporary African Migration, New York: Routledge.

  • Mattingly, C. (2010) The Paradox of Hope: Journeys Through A Clinical Borderland, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

  • McFall, L. (1991) What’s wrong with bitterness?, in C. Card (ed) Feminist Ethics, Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, pp 12741.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Miller, P. and Rose, N.S. (2008) Governing the Present: Administering Economic, Social and Personal Life, Cambridge: Polity.

  • Miyazaki, H. (2006) The Method of Hope: Anthropology, Philosophy, and Fijian Knowledge, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

  • Muñoz, J.E. (2009) Cruising Utopia - The Then and There of Queer Futurity, New York, NY: New York University Press.

  • Parla, A. (2019) Precarious Hope: Migration and the Limits of Belonging in Turkey, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

  • Petersen, A. and Wilkinson, I. (2015) Editorial introduction: the sociology of hope in contexts of health, medicine, and healthcare, Health, 19(2): 11318. doi: 10.1177/1363459314555378

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Potamianou, A. (1997) Hope: A Shield in the Economy of Borderline States, London: Routledge.

  • Rose, N. (1996) Inventing Our Selves: Psychology, Power, and Personhood, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Schrank, B., Stanghellini, G. and Slade, M. (2008) Hope in psychiatry: a review of the literature, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 118(6): 42133. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2008.01271.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Solnit, R. (2016) Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities, Edinburgh: Canongate Books.

  • Stockdale, K. (2021) Hope Under Oppression, New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Watzlawick, P., Weakland, J.H. and Fisch, R. (1974) Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution, New York: Norton.

  • Webb, D. (2007) Modes of hoping, History of the Human Sciences, 20(3): 6583. doi: 10.1177/0952695107079335

  • Žižek, S. (2018) The Courage of Hopelessness, London: Penguin.

  • Ahmed, S. (2010) The Promise of Happiness, London: Duke University Press.

  • Bourdieu, P. (2000) Pascalian Meditations, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

  • Colebrook, C. (2010) Toxic feminism: hope and hopelessness after feminism, Journal for Cultural Research, 14(4): 232335. doi: 10.1080/14797581003765291

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cook, J.A. (2018) Hope, utopia, and everyday life: some recent developments, Utopian Studies, 29(3): 38097. doi: 10.5325/utopianstudies.29.3.0380

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cooper, D. (2014) Everyday Utopias: The Conceptual Life of Promising Spaces, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • de Genova, N. (ed.) (2017) The Borders of ‘Europe’: Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • de la Sablonnière, R. and Usborne, E. (2014) Toward a social psychology of social change: insights from identity process theory, in R. Jaspal and G.M. Breakwell (eds) Identity Process Theory: Identity, Social Action and Social Change, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • de la Sablonnière, R., Taylor, D.M., Perozzo, C. and Sadykova, N. (2009) Reconceptualising relative deprivation in the context of dramatic social change: the challenge confronting the people of Kyrgyzstan, European Journal of Social Psychology, 39: 32545.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Eagleton, T. (2017) Hope Without Optimism, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

  • Elsrud, T. (2020) Resisting social death with dignity. The strategy of re-escaping among young asylum-seekers in the wake of Sweden’s sharpened asylum laws, European Journal of Social Work, 23(3): 50013. doi: 10.1080/13691457.2020.1719476

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Elsrud, T. and Lalander, P. (2022) Precariousness among young migrants in Europe: a consequence of exclusionary mechanisms within state-controlled neoliberal social work in Sweden, Critical and Radical Social Work, 10(1): 7792. doi: 10.1332/204986021X16215151035945

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fontanari, E. (2019) Lives in Transit: An Ethnographic Study of Refugees’ Subjectivity Across European Borders, London: Routledge.

  • Foucault, M. (1980) Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972–1977, New York: Pantheon.

  • Foucault, M. (1991) Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, New York: Vintage Books.

  • Freire, P. (1994) Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed, New York: Continuum.

  • Greenwood, R. and Hinings, C.R. (1996) Understanding radical organisational change: bringing together the old and the new institutionalism, Academy of Management Review, 21(4): 102254. doi: 10.2307/259163

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hage, G. (2009) Waiting out the crisis: on stuckedness and governmentality, in G. Hage (ed.), Waiting, Victoria: Melbourne University Publishing, pp 97106.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Herz, M. and Lalander, P. (2018) Neoliberal management of social work in Sweden, in M. Kamali and J.H. Jönsson (eds) Neoliberalism, Nordic Welfare States and Social Work: Current and Future Challenges, New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • hooks, b. (1990) Postmodern blackness, Postmodern Culture, 1(1), doi: 10.1353/pmc.1990.0004.

  • Jaggar, A.M. (1989) Love and knowledge: emotion in feminist epistemology, Inquiry, 32(2): 15176. doi: 10.1080/00201748908602185

  • Kallio, K.P., Meier, I. and Häkli, J. (2021) Radical hope in asylum seeking: political agency beyond linear temporality, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 47(17): 400622. doi: 10.1080/1369183X.2020.1764344

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kazemi, B. (2021) Unaccompaniedminors (Un-)made in Sweden: Ungrievable Lives and Access to Rights Produced Through Policy, [PhD thesis], Gothenburg, Sweden: Gothenburg University.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Khosravi, S. (2017) Precarious Lives: Waiting and Hope in Iran, Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

  • Kleist, N. and Thorsen, D. (2017) Hope and Uncertainty in Contemporary African Migration, New York: Routledge.

  • Mattingly, C. (2010) The Paradox of Hope: Journeys Through A Clinical Borderland, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

  • McFall, L. (1991) What’s wrong with bitterness?, in C. Card (ed) Feminist Ethics, Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, pp 12741.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Miller, P. and Rose, N.S. (2008) Governing the Present: Administering Economic, Social and Personal Life, Cambridge: Polity.

  • Miyazaki, H. (2006) The Method of Hope: Anthropology, Philosophy, and Fijian Knowledge, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

  • Muñoz, J.E. (2009) Cruising Utopia - The Then and There of Queer Futurity, New York, NY: New York University Press.

  • Parla, A. (2019) Precarious Hope: Migration and the Limits of Belonging in Turkey, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

  • Petersen, A. and Wilkinson, I. (2015) Editorial introduction: the sociology of hope in contexts of health, medicine, and healthcare, Health, 19(2): 11318. doi: 10.1177/1363459314555378

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Potamianou, A. (1997) Hope: A Shield in the Economy of Borderline States, London: Routledge.

  • Rose, N. (1996) Inventing Our Selves: Psychology, Power, and Personhood, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Schrank, B., Stanghellini, G. and Slade, M. (2008) Hope in psychiatry: a review of the literature, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 118(6): 42133. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2008.01271.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Solnit, R. (2016) Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities, Edinburgh: Canongate Books.

  • Stockdale, K. (2021) Hope Under Oppression, New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Watzlawick, P., Weakland, J.H. and Fisch, R. (1974) Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution, New York: Norton.

  • Webb, D. (2007) Modes of hoping, History of the Human Sciences, 20(3): 6583. doi: 10.1177/0952695107079335

  • Žižek, S. (2018) The Courage of Hopelessness, London: Penguin.

  • 1 University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • | 2 Linnaeus University, Sweden

Content Metrics

May 2022 onwards Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 141 141 34
PDF Downloads 115 115 31

Altmetrics

Dimensions