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Americanisation of European Social Science and Welfare Policies

Research seminar organized by: NCoE Nordwel, the project “Americanization Processes in Denmark” and Centre for the Social History of Health and Health Care (Glasgow)

Time: 20 March 2009, 9.15-17.30

Place: University of Copenhagen, Njalsgade 122, 2300 København S, room: 27.0.49 (Ny kua):

Over the last ten years there has been a growing interest of tracing American influences on what can broadly be defined as “social thinking” in Western Europe. A growing number of studies have dealt with various social sciences from political sciences over sociology and psychiatry to international relations, with social policy, education or social work. Attention has been drawn towards the role of influential individuals and thinkers, the travel of ideas, transnational networks and not the least the important role played by American foundations (such as Rockefeller, Ford etc.). At the seminar researchers from a number of countries will discuss American influences and place them in both a national and a transnational context. The aim to not only, to compare national cases but also to move one step closer towards a transnational history of both social sciences and modern North European welfare societies.


9.15-9.30 Introduction

Erik Ingebrigtsen (University of Trondheim): The Rockefeller Foundation and the transformation of the Hungarian nursing profession
John Stewart (Caledonian University Glasgow): Commonwealth Fund of New York and child health in Austria in the 1920s

11.00-11.15 Coffee

Katharina R. Rietzler (University College London): American Foundations and the Study of International Relations in Europe, 1919-1939
Henriette Buus (Greve Museum): The influence of Rockefeller Foundation on the Danish Welfare State

12.45-13.45 Lunch (University Restaurant)

Johanna Rainio-Niemi (University of Helsinki): American influences on the emergence of modern social sciences in post-war Finland (and Austria)
Dag Blanck (Uppsala University): Scholars Across the Seas. Trans-Atlantic Exchange of Knowledge Between Sweden and the United States in the 20th Century

15.15-15.30 Coffee


Kari Ludvigsen (Bergen University): American influences on Norwegian child psychiatry and public mental health work towards children

16.15-16.30 Concluding discussion

For further information or if you wish to participate please contact:
John Stewart: & Klaus Petersen: