Sorry for the silence. I downloaded the kindle version of the first 4 books of Game of Thrones. As explained previously, I like to binge when it comes to reading for pleasure. I have a pile of more than 20 books in my office that require reading, so I have developed the habit of reading for fun only rarely and on the sly. This works quite well when you have one novel or even something as simply written as the The Hunger Games Trilogy. Not so, with Game of Thrones. Those books are dense and long so they are having an extended impact on how I spend my time. I obviously need to get work done so I have compromised some of my more optional activities – sleep, blogging, studying Swedish.
Anyway, I have been sketching some posts and you will see them eventually but I wanted to make a brief observation. Here it is:
I am grading papers and it is striking how many of my students here in Sweden bring up and support the idea of the free movement of people (the elimination of all immigration restrictions). When I introduce the subject of free movement in my classes in the U.S. most students cannot even seem to wrap their heads around the idea it is as if I am suggesting that we abandon something as fundamental as breathing oxygen. Here it is different. Maybe in Sweden national identity is tied more closely to cultural boundaries than political boundaries than is the case in the States. Maybe it is that they have had free movement within the EU and Schengen nations for a few decades so folks are just more comfortable with the idea of open border. Whatever it is these students seem to expect that, given the right integration policies, there would be some bumps in the road but it would all work out.