Jonas Toubøl defends his PhD thesis at the Department of Sociology – University of Copenhagen

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Jonas Toubøl defends his PhD thesis at the Department of Sociology


Jonas Toubøl  Department of Sociology


"DIFFERENTIAL RECRUITMENT TO AND OUTCOMES OF SOLIDARITY ACTIVISM. Ethics, Values and Group Style in The Danish Refugee Solidarity Movement". Prior to the defence, a paper copy of the dissertation is available for reading at the Department of Sociology, room 16.1.23. The thesis is also available here:

Time and venue

University of Copenhagen, Centre for Health and Society, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Copenhagen K, room 2.0.63. Kindly note that the defence will start exactly at the announced time. The Department of Sociology will host a reception after the defence in room 33.1.19 at approx. 5.30 pm.

Assessment Committee

  • Associate professor Nicole Doerr, Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (chair)  
  • Associate professor Thomas Olesen, Aarhus University
  • Professor Douglas McAdam, Stanford University, USA (on skype)


Differential Recruitment to and Outcomes of Solidarity Activism Ethics, Values and Group Styles in The Danish Refugee Solidarity Movement Jonas Toubøl This dissertation is the first major academic analysis of the Danish refugee solidarity movement that mobilized more than 100,000 citizens in the fall 2015 when the European refugee crisis reached Denmark. The dissertation makes four main contribution to the two questions of differential recruitment—what accounts for activists’ involvement in different activities—and the question of social movement outcome in the form of changes to the activists’ political perceptions. First, it argues that in solidarity activism an ethical demand to care for the unfortunate is a central driver that may lead to involvement in high-risk activism. This ethical demand is mediated by values of altruism. Second, such basic human values are argued to be important for how we react emotionally to major events which, together with effects of network and socialization, influence our propensity to engage in activism of varying risk. Third, values are also expressed in variation between the style group interaction. No matter prior experience with activism, activists in groups with a style that focuses on the immediate compassion and care for the refugees engage to a lesser degree in political protest, than do activists in a group culture that focuses on the political and contentious dimension of the matter. Fourth and finally, for activists engaged in the legal cases of refugees, experiencing an immigration-bureaucracy with little or no care for the human beings behind the dossiers combined with an experience of systematic bias against the refugee, results in a loss of institutional trust. Given the fact that the activists also prior to their involvement in the movement had a high level of participation in democratic civil society, the operation of the institutions causing loss of trust, may pose a unintended threat to Danish democracy by alienating key actors in civil society from the institutionalized political process.