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Admir Skodo

During 2017–2018 SASNET hosted the research project "Humanitarian aid and Afghan refugees in Sweden and the United States since the Cold War" The project's leader was Dr. Admir Skodo he can be contacted via admir [dot] skodo [at] sasnet [dot] lu [dot] se


Research project

During Admirs two-year position as researcher at SASNET (January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2018), Admir conducted a project on Afghan migration to Sweden and the US since the Cold War, and its links to Afghan, Swedish, and US politics and migration regimes. This research included:


•    Over 60 interviews in Sweden and the US.

•    The study of unpublished documents from, among others, Riksarkivet, Migrationsverkets Arkiv, the Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection at the University of Nebraska, the Louis Dupree Papers at Duke University, the NSA Archives, and the CIA Archives.

•    The collection and study of thousands of published documents (books, articles) related to modern Afghanistan, Afghan migration, US immigration and foreign policy, and Swedish immigration and foreign policy.




Peer-reviewed articles

“The Long and Short Arms of the State: Swedish Multidirectional Controls of Afghan Asylum Seekers During the Cold War,” Journal of Refugee Studies, forthcoming 2019.

“Migrant Smuggling, Reasons for Fleeing, and Uses of Asylum Capital among Afghan Asylum Seekers in Sweden,” Nidaba: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Middle East Studies, 3(2018).

“Idealism,” SAGE Encyclopedia of Research Methods, forthcoming 2020.


Policy papers

“The Impact of Forced Migration on Afghanistan’s Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations,” Swedish Institute of International Affairs Occasional Papers, 3(2018), available at [

“Sweden: By Turns Welcoming and Restrictive,” Migration Information Source, Migration Policy Institute, 2018 [


Journalism and popular science articles

“Afghanska kvinnor fast mellan gamla seder och nya rättigheter – även som asylsökande,” Sydasien, October 15, 2018 [

“Afghanska asylsökande i den svenska migrationsdebatten,” Sydasien, May 13 2018 [

“Välutbildade migranter kan bygga stark afghans stat,” Afghanistan-Nytt, 2018.

“Pakistan’s ‘Pashtun Spring’ Pits Human Rights Demands Against War on Terror Politics,” The Conversation, February 22 2018 [

“Afghanistan: A Permanent Crisis of Legitimacy,” The Times Literary Supplement, October 20, 2017.

“How Afghans Became Second-class Asylum Seekers,” The Conversation, February 20, 2017 [ Republished by The Independent.

“How Immigration Detention Compares Around the World,” The Conversation, April 19, 2017 [

“A Populist Myth About Immigration Courts and Public Opinion: Evidence from the US and Sweden,” Open Democracy, March 3 2018 [

“Scandinavia Takes Plenty of People from Trump’s ‘Shithole Countries,’” The Conversation, January 15 2018 [

“Swedish Immigration Is Not Out of Control – It’s Actually Getting More Restrictive,” The Conversation February 29, 2017 [ Republished by The Independent.


Commissioned education

Admir was the lead teacher of the interdisciplinary EU-funded training program at the Swedish Migration Agency entitled Understanding Asylum, designed to strengthen the legal and scientific basis of asylum investigations. I was responsible for coordinating the work of a group of scholars from psychology, legal studies, cognitive science, philosophy, history, political science, along with a group of experts from the Agency. I was also responsible for developing and delivering seminars on country of origin information (where I often used Afghanistan as a case study and in exercises), source criticism, and critical thinking. I delivered these seminars in October 2018 to asylum officers, Agency experts, and decision makers. But because my contract was not renewed at the end of 2018,


Teaching and supervision

Admir co-developed and co-taught the course Introduction to Middle Eastern Debates at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University, during 2017. Admir supervised Jia Liu, a Master student in Middle Eastern Studies and Lund University, and her Master thesis on Hazara politics in Afghanistan. 


Conferences, talks, and workshops

“The External and Internal Control of Afghan Asylum Seekers in Sweden in the 1980s and the 1990s” paper presented on the on the panel entitled South Asian Diaspora: Negotiating Borders, Belonging, Separation, and Identity, at the Annual South Asia Conference, University of Wisconsin at Madison, October 2018.

“Challenges to Democracy in Afghanistan,” presentation at the seminar Challenges to Democracy in South Asia, Swedish Institute of International Affairs, May 2018.     

“The Internationalized State and Conflicts: The Afghan Diaspora and Afghan Statebuilding since 1979,” paper presented at the Refugees, Borders and Membership Conference, Malmö University, October 2018.

“Afghan Migration and the Afghan State: Past and Present,” paper presented at the Statebuilding in Afghanistan in a Global Context panel, Lund University, April 2018.                 

“The Impact of Forced Migration on Afghanistan’s Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations,” paper presented at a workshop at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, February 2018. “The Public Philosophy of the Swedish State in Its Response to the 2015 ‘Refugee Crisis,’” paper presented at the Studying Refugees in Northern Europe conference, Lund University, June 2017.    


Media interviews

Interviewed on Afghanistan and Afghan migration by Svenska Dagbladet (twice), Expressen TV (twice), Ystads Allehanda, Global Daily News. Requested to be interviewed by SVT Rapport, Flamman, and Sveriges Radio Malmö.


External funding SASNET

Admir received external funding from the following sources because of applications that I submitted alone or as part of a team:

•    Swedish Migration Agency/EU (commissioned education).

•    Knut and Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelse (internationalization trip to the US).

•    Crafoordska Stiftelsen (conference grant).

•    Helge Ax:son Johnsons Stiftelse (research trip to the US).

•    Magnus Bergvalls Stiftelse (research trip to the US).