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Outsourcing of Scandinavian welfare societies

Several recent policy documents point out that welfare services in a traditional sense are not sufficient to meet demanding challenges to the Scandinavian welfare models sustainability.

New types of relations between the public purchasers of welfare services and the providers often involve different forms of quasi-markets, open tenders, frame agreements, or user choice. However, the Scandinavian countries have chosen different trajectories: Denmark has for a long time politically favoured non-profit welfare provision; Sweden has opened up for strong growth in for-profit provision; while Norway prefers public provision as long as there is sufficient capacity, in particular in compulsory education and essential health services.

The project is designed to improve our understanding of how welfare politics; allocation of service contracts to public, private and nonprofit providers; and citizen roles are linked, by addressing the following research questions: Under what circumstances are active citizenship roles as opposed to narrower consumerist roles likely to occur? Does it make a difference if the providers belong to the public, private or the nonprofit sector? Are there differences between welfare services where there is broad party consensus about the need to curb costs, as opposed to services where there is competition about improvement and expansion between the parties? Do the institutional logics by which welfare service contracts are allocated to providers and expectations coordinated matter, i.e. is there a shift from government to governance? The project will strengthen stakeholders` critical awareness of consequences of outsourcing and user choice for active citizenship.


Forskningsprojektet finansieres af det norske forskningsråd og ledes af Karl Henrik Sivesind, Institutt for Samfunnsforskning, Oslo. Den danske del gennemføres af Malene Thøgersen, tidl. Center for Forskning i Idræt Sundhed og Civilsamfund, Syddansk Universitet nu Videnscenter for Folkeoplysning, mens den svenske del varetages af Anders Lidström, Department of Political Science, Umeå Universitet.  


Se alle udgivelser i forbindelse med projektet på den norske webside: Utkontraktering av skandinaviske velferdssamfunn? - neden for kan du downloade de danske udgivelser.