The Nordic Welfare Model in a Global Context

7.5 credits

The Nordic welfare model is a key issue in contemporary discussion about global social development or the existence of a human “civilizing process”. On and off, the notion of a specific Nordic social model – as a common pool resource-institution with full employment, high taxes and generous social benefits from child allowances/care to old age pensions – has been extremely controversial also in the social sciences. This course outlines its place in the world of today as well as the evolution of its constituent institutional features or the relationship between welfare, state and society. In focus are the similarities and differences between the Nordic social welfare system and the various welfare systems of rest of the world, social Europe in particular. The relationship between macro-economic and party politics in the set-up of a modern welfare state comes to the fore as well as conflicts and harmonization between member-states of the European Union. Moreover, this course goes into the details of Nordic welfare institution-building or social engineering, Sweden in particular, and takes on such issues as the financing of welfare in a period of growing social disparities (inequalities and poverty), privatization and marketization of previously core public tasks. The course will also discuss the role the economy and the market plays in relation to the state and civil society in the contemporary transformations of globe. In this course various varieties of capitalism and welfare systems, political aspects of the workings of economy and questions of world economic order and the transformations of the world economy will have an impact on its focus on the Nordic welfare model.



The city of Kalmar is situated on the southeast coast of Sweden. Kalmar is a beautiful city with 65,000 inhabitants and a long history dating back to the Middle Ages, with many cosy neighbourhoods and great charm. The lush green areas surrounding Kalmar Castle and the city park are many students' favourite.

The proximity to the ocean and the island of Öland has left its mark on the city and there are many long pedestrian paths along the coast. It is never far to anything in Kalmar and most places can be reached in just 5-10 minutes' walk – the university, the ocean, the gym, or the city centre, Kvarnholmen.

In Kalmar the university buildings and student accommodations are spread throughout the town and are well integrated with the historical surroundings – making students feel part of the town.