The very word is chilling, but has become normalised political currency in Denmark. Since 2010, the Danish government has resorted to generating “ghetto lists” marking out areas as socially problematic for the state. In 2018, the country’s parliament passed “ghetto” laws to further regulate the lives of individuals inhabiting various city areas focusing on their racial and ethnic origins. The legislation constitutes the spear tip of the “One Denmark without Parallel Societies – No Ghettos in 2030” initiative; its target: “non-Western” residents who overbalance the social ledger by concentrating in various city environs.
The “ghetto package”, comprising over 20 different statutes, grants the government power to designate various neighbourhoods as “ghettos” or “tough ghettos”. That nasty formulation is intended to have consequences for urban planning, taking into account the percentage of immigrants and descendants present in that area of “non-Western background”. One Danish media outlet, assiduously avoiding the creepier elements of the policy, saw it as the “greatest social experiment of the century.”