Date of Graduation

Spring 5-10-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Migration Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


Migration Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Nora Fisher Onar


The 2015 displacement of Syrian refugees into Scandinavian countries provoked a refugee integration policy adjustment that focused on workforce and higher education entry. It is a policy approach that requires attention on barriers to workforce entry to ensure effective policy implementation. This article provides insight into the larger, often overlooked barriers of Eurocentrism and historical biases on refugee labor integration and provides policy solutions to reduce their impact. Active social inclusion (ASI) and Fourthspace are introduced as a framework to reduce biases to workforce entry and integration time barriers faced by Syrian refugees. ASI can provide mechanisms to increase access to labor markets through access to greater opportunities for gaining native language proficiency, mentorship and the creation of networks. Fourthspace allows for the intersecting of digital and physical inclusion to reflect the usage of these intersecting geographies and ultimately the assertion of agency by Syrian refugees into physical and liminal European landscapes as a counter to the passivity within integration policy. My argument is that ASI and Fourthspace can serve as an active tool refugees can access to reduce the time barrier to workforce entry and connect to real world and digital resources. As digital social platforms increasingly become crucial in navigating the physical spaces of our daily lives, the intersecting and bridging of online and offline environments, addressing digital divides, biases and barriers are crucial to meet the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) Digital Transformation strategy call for a reduction to barriers to digital inclusion as a strategy to reach integration policy goals.