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Palgrave Macmillan

Changing Social Risks and Social Policy Responses in the Nordic Welfare States

ISBN 9781137267184
Publication Date October 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

The Nordic welfare states have found themselves in the firing line of post-industrial developments, resulting in fundamental changes in societal institutions at all levels. In particular, changes in the labour market and family, reinforced by processes of migration and international market integration, have presented the welfare states with new social needs to attend to. This book critically explores responses to changing social risks across areas such as structural unemployment, entrepreneurship, immigration, single parenthood, education and health. It explores critical changes in the structure of the Nordic welfare states and the social policy strategies for alleviating social risks. While the Nordic countries are shining in most international comparisons, such changes and their wider implications have often been overlooked in the literature. The book raises the question whether certain risks are even being evoked actively through new social policies instating incentive structures concomitant with policy goals in order to encourage certain behaviour among citizens.

Ivan Harsløf is Associate Professor and the Vice Dean for Research at Oslo University College, Norway.

Rickard Ulmestig is Senior Lecturer at Linnaeus University, Sweden.

1. Introduction: Changing Social Risks and Social Policy Responses in the Nordic Welfare States; Ivan Harsløf and Rickard Ulmestig
2. Changing Population Profiles and Social Risk Structures in the Nordic countries; Ivan Harsløf, Simone Scarpa and Synøve Nygaard Andersen
3. Welfare State Support of Lone Parents: Nordic Approaches to a Complex and Ambiguous Policy Field; Mia Hakovirta, Susan Kuivalainen and Minna Rantalaiho
4. Working Time Policy Change and New Social Risks; Uffe Enokson
5. The Growing Emphasis on Education in the Nordic Social Citizenship: Inducing New Risks While Trying to Alleviate Them; Alexandru Panican
6. Structural Unemployment as a New Social Risk in the Nordic countries: A critical reassessment; Christian Albrekt Larsen
7. Fighting Risks with Risks: Self-Employment and New Social Risks in the Nordic Countries; Rickard Ulmestig
8. Health Capital: New Health Risks and Personal Investments in the Body in the Context of Changing Nordic Welfare States; Kristian Larsen, Malcolm Cutchin and Ivan Harsløf
9. Ethnification of New Social Risks: Programmes for Preparing Newly Arrived Immigrants for (Working) Life in Sweden, Denmark and Norway; Ariana Guilherme Fernandes
10. New Geographically-Differentiated Configurations of Social Risks: Labour Market Policy Developments in Sweden and Finland; Simone Scarpa
11. Liberal Responses to New Social Risks – Danish Experiences from Three Decades of Liberalistic Social Policy Reforms; Iver Hornemann Møller
12. Conclusion: The Take on New Social Risks in the Nordic Welfare States; Rickard Ulmestig and Ivan Harsløf

Synøve Nygaard Andersen, Statistics Norway, Norway
Malcolm P. Cutchin, University of North Carolina, US
Uffe Enokson, Linnaeus University, Sweden
Ariana Guilherme Fernandes, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Mia Hakovirta, University of Turku, Finland
Susan Kuivalainen, National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, Finland
Christian Albrekt Larsen, Aalborg University, Denmark
Kristian Larsen, Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway
Alexandru Panican, Lund University, Sweden
Minna Rantalaiho, Social Worker, Finland
Iver Hornemann Møller, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Simone Scarpa, University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy


"Ivan Harslof and Rickard Ulmestig have compiled an excellent collection of studies that take a hard look at how different Nordic countries respond to changing social risks. This book brings a corrective lens to bear on policies related to market oriented management techniques, activation, privatization, decentralization, working-time regulations, support of lone parents, and assimilation of newly arrived immigrants. As such it offers an original view which highlights the impact of an emerging neo-liberal agenda on the Nordic responses to new social risks. A remarkable contribution to the typically idealized view of Nordic welfare states, this volume represents an example of critical analysis at its best." - Neil Gilbert, Chernin Professor of Social Welfare, University of California, USA
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