Nordic civic society organisations and the future of welfare services

A model for Europe?

image of Nordic civic society organisations and the future of welfare services

When well functioning national welfare states are put under pressure, also the tasks of civic society and citizens’ mutual responsibility are being re-defined. Hence, the significance of the civic society organisations in one of the most successful and stable circumstances of welfare states - in Northern Europe - is of great interest. This publication gives a first comprehensive overview of existing research on civic society organisations in the area of welfare services in the five Nordic countries. Besides a comparative Nordic analysis, focussed national contributions are provided. Finally, leading European researchers connect the Nordic debate in to a stimulating European context. How far are the Nordic welfare traditions still of significance, since all welfare states are similarly challenged by the global market economy? Can welfare organisations provide opportunities even for the most vulnerable groups to achieve full citizenship?



A comparative overview of the Nordic research

The nearly 800 references from the last 15 years give evidence about a new and rapidly growing research area in the Nordic countries. The general profile of the research area is characterised by a large volume of research in various disciplines. At the same time, research is taking place in quite fragmented settings, having one or two leading centres and a lot of single, detached research projects and researchers in each country. So far, national researches have not been very systematic and there seems to be a poor “sector awareness” of joint research area among the researchers in various disciplines.


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