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The National Welfare State: Citizenship and Democracy in the Nordic Countries

The National Welfare State

Citizenship and Democracy in the Nordic Countries

Institute for Futures Studies, Stockholm

3 – 4 October 2008

New! Workshop programme

Over the centuries, the Nordic nation states have demonstrated a strong ability for social and national integration. There are, of course, moments in which social and political conflicts have challenged the idea of one nation. But since the 1930s, national cohesion has been a dominant feature, and, in the post-war period, the understanding of the Nordic countries as highly developed welfare states became an integrated part of their national self-image.

This workshop intends do discuss the various ‘citizenships’ that have been developed as a result of the establishment of national welfare states in the Nordic countries. The overall issue is how the relationship between democracy, the nation state and social welfare has been articulated and institutionalized (in terms of social and political rights, gender relations etc.).

Discussing the historical dimensionof the national welfare state in this respect may enable us to nuance the often very static understanding of ‘democracy’ and ‘citizenship’ in comparative welfare state research and to form the basis for a better understanding of the challenges posed by contemporary discourses on globalization, Europeanization, individualization, demographic ageing, and immigration.

The organizers invite all sorts of theoretical, methodological and empirical papers connected to the overall subject of the workshop, including themes like:

  • Anti-immigration: welfare nationalism and the emergence of populist parties.
  • The juridification of politics: The European Community and the weakening of national parliamentary democracy.
  • Welfare, exclusion and political agency: social division and control in the Nordic welfare states.

Paper proposals (1/2 page) should be submitted to the following e-mail address: The deadline for submissions of abstracts is April 18, 2008. Authors of submitted abstracts will be notified not later than May 16, 2008.

This workshop is organized by the theme group The National Welfare State: Citizenship and Democracythat is part of the the Nordic Centre of Excellence: The Nordic Welfare State – Historical Foundations and Future Challenges (NordWel).

NCoE-NordWel will provide accommodation and reimburses travel costs for all participants with accepted papers. Travel grant can be applied for in connection with abstract submission.

Stein Kuhnle, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin
Niels Finn Christiansen, University of Copenhagen
Urban Lundberg, Institute for Futures Studies