Abstract: Hanna Wikström and Rebecca Thorburn Stern

Assessment of credibility is central to the asylum procedure, as the majority of cases are determined on these grounds. In ‘identity-related cases’, such as claims based on sexual orientation or religious conversion, also the ‘genuineness’ of the sexual orientation or newly found religious faith is assessed. It means that the court attempts to determine if the applicant really is homosexual or really is a religious convert. The overarching aim of the present on-going article is to analyse how genuineness assessment is carried out, what criteria are used, and what logics that sustain them, as well as the consequences of this, on both an individual and on a system level. The analyses are based on 500 written judgements from the Swedish Migration Courts. Theoretically the analysis is (to be) carried out by a Foucauldian take on the telling of truth in terms of a confession that also tends to deny applicants as political subjects in favour of demands on level of narrative detail or judgments based on prefabricated models of religious and sexual identity (Foucault 1976/2002, Beard & Noll 2009). This is especially evident in ‘successful’ cases where the asylum narrative is found sufficient by the court. The paper argues/attempts to argue that one fundamental drive in these symbolically quite violent processes refers to the solid positivist tradition substantiating the area of law and subsequently calls for an inclusion of the notion of the contingency of the telling of truth.