Introduction to the contemporary welfare state

Download 20.32 Kb.
Date conversion04.02.2017
Size20.32 Kb.

Introduction to the contemporary Welfare State

ECTS Credits

15, 00

100 (bachelor)
Language of Instruction


Spring /Autumn
Target groups

Students from any partner university outside Norway as well as Norwegian students who want to study the welfare state in an international study. Students that are already attending bachelor studies at Volda University College can as well choose this course.


The aims of this course are to provide the students with analytical competence with regard to knowledge on societal structures and processes, especially concerning the following topics: the construction of contemporary welfare states, central aspects of the Norwegian Welfare State, the role of welfare professions, Norway as a multicultural society and processes of marginalization and social exclusion.


The course contains three main parts. The first part gives an overview of state welfare and the Norwegian welfare state. With regard to political aims and prioritised target groups the themes of multiculturalism and marginalization\ social exclusion are addressed.

1) Central aspects of state welfare and the Norwegian Welfare State

In this part of the course the following topics are covered: a general perspective on the construction of welfare states and their normative foundations. The characteristics of the Norwegian (and the Nordic) model for designing of the welfare state: the development from a residual welfare state model characterised by selective services to the establishment of an encompassing and universal welfare state. The focus upon municipalities and professions as implementers of state welfare will be addressed, as well as the division of labour between the state and the municipalities. The aim of the workfare policy and select target groups of the welfare state will also be focused. The aims and organisation of the New Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service (NAV), which since the year of 2006 includes the following former offices: the Social Welfare Office, the Local Employment Office and the Social Security Office, will be presented. The development of the Norwegian welfare state and democratic traits will be compared with welfare arrangements in other countries in Europe as well as outside Europe. The public policies for inclusion of marginalized and socially excluded groups in Norway will also be addressed as responses to the challenge of poverty.

2) Norway as a multicultural society

Norway has traditionally been recognized as a relative homogeneous society despite the fact of the country’s presence of indigenous ethnic groups as i.e. the laps in Northern part of Norway. These are minority groups that have played an essential role in the nation’s historical identity. However globalization processes and increasing immigration of people from outside Europe from the 1970 and onwards has contributed to a certain consciousness among ethnic Norwegians of being part of a multicultural society. An increasing cultural variety means new challenges for the welfare state and professionals within for instance health and social work occupations.

A major focus will be given to the concept of migration and central political ideas connected to processes of integration of minority groups in Norway. The concepts of culture, diversity as well as racism as phenomena will be addressed as central challenges in the welfare state.

3) Children, Youth and family politics.

Marginalization, social exclusion, poverty and policies for inclusion and welfare
In this part of the course processes of marginalization and social exclusion among selected groups in the Norwegian society are addressed. Processes of marginalization and social exclusion will also be related to the importance of local contexts with regard to the framing of such processes. A special focus is put on youth, gender and family structures and changes. Drug abuse and unemployment will also be addressed. The general family policy will also be addressed.
Teaching methods

The teaching methods include lectures, group work, seminars and a written paper. The written paper is within the frame of 3000 words. The topic of the paper is formulated by the teaching staff, and the students will receive counselling during the writing process.

Visits to miscellaneous welfare institutions in the local community can be relevant as part of the course.


A school exam and an evaluation of the written paper. Grades will be awarded on a scale from A-F, where A is the highest grade, E is the lowest passing grade and F is a Fail. The school exam and the written paper have an equal standing in the grading process.

Banting, K. & Kymlica, W. (Eds.) (2006). Multiculturalism and the welfare state. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 1 – 30. (30 pages)
Christensen, T., A. L. Fimreite and P. Lægreid (2007). “Reform of the employment and welfare administrations – the challenges of co-coordinating diverse public organizations”. International Review of Adminstrative Sciences, p. 389-408. (20 pages).

Esping-Andersen, G., D. Cullie, A. Hemerijk and J. Myles (2002). Why we need a new welfare state. Oxford University Press. (215 pages).

Flora, P., & A.J. Heidenheimer (1981). The Development of welfare states in Europe and America. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books. Chap. 11. (22 pages)

Gullestad, M. (2001). “ Imaged sameness: Shifting notions of “Us” and “Them” in Norway” In Ytrehus, L. A. Forestillinger om “DEN ANDRE” Images of Otherness, Kristiansand: Høyskoleforlaget (25 pages).

Gullestad, M. (2006). ”Imagined kinship and the rearticulation of ethnonationalism”. In Plausible Prejudice (21 pages).
Halvorsen, K. and S. Stjernø (2008). Work, Welfare and Oil. The Welfare State in Norway. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget (excerpts).
Heggen, K. (2003). “An introduction to the main concepts: Marginalization and Social Exclusion” In Heggen, Bergem, Høydal, Kvalsund, Myklebust (eds): Marginalization and Exclusion, Conference report. Høgskulen i Volda / Møreforsking. (3 pages)

Hylland Eriksen, Th.(2007). Globalization . The Key Concepts, Oxford: Berg (ca. 100 pages).

James, A., C. Jenks and A. Prout (1998). Theorizing Childhood. Cambridge: Polity Press. (excerpts).

Kildal, N. and S. Kuhnle (2005).”The Nordic welfare model and the idea of universalism”. In Kildal, N. and S. Kuhnle (Eds.) Normative foundations of the welfare state: the Nordic experience. London. Routledge (30 pages).

Knudsen, J. C. (1990): “Cognitive Models in Life Histories” Anthropological Quarterly, July 1990, Volume 63, Number 3 (11 pages).

Lødemel, I. (Ed.). (2002). Workfare in Six European Nations: Fafo. Chap. 5 and 9. (15 pages)

Maagerø, E., & Simonsen, B. (Eds.). (2005). Norway, Society and Culture. Kristiansand: Portal. Part1, Part 3. and Part 4. (136 pages)

Mutema, G. (2005. Rebuilding lives after genocide: life histories of Rwandan refugees in Zimbabwe and Norway. Centre for Women`s and Gender Research, Facultulty of Arts, (Phd) Universitetet i Bergen. (ca. 50 pages)

Offer, J. (1984). Informal Welfare, Social Work and the Sociology of Welfare. British Journal of Social Work, 14, 545 - 555. ( 10 pages)
Rose, L. (2004). “Local Government and Politics”. In Heidar, K. (ed.) Nordic Politics. Comparative Perspectives. Oslo:Universitetsforlaget. (19 pages).
Royal Norwegian Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion. Report to the Storting No. 9 (2006-2007) Work, Welfare and Inclusion. (Chapter 1. Main contents of a Governmental White Paper). (22 pages).
Spicker, P. (2007). The idea of poverty. Bristol: The Policy Press (151 pages).
Strandbu, Å. (2005). “Identity, embodied culture and physical exercise. Stories from Muslim girls in Oslo with immigrant backgrounds”. In Young, Nordic Journal of Youth research.(17 pages).
Titmuss, R. M. (1974). Social policy: an introduction. London: George Allen & Unwin. Chap. 1 – 2. (20 pages).
White, R. and J. Wynn (2004). Youth and Society. Exploring the social dynamics of youth experiences. South Melbourne, Vic. : Oxford University Press. (excerpts)

This Curriculum is tentative and at the time being under further development.

The database is protected by copyright © 2016
send message

    Main page