Oslo Summer School in Comparative Social Science Studies 2016

The Nordic Welfare State Model in a Comparative and European Perspective

Associate Professor Caroline de la Porte
Department of Business and Politics
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Professor Bo Rothstein
Department of Political Science
University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Main disciplines: Political Science,
Sociology, Political Economy

Dates: 25 - 29 July 2016
Course Credits: 10 ECTS
Limitation: 25 participants


NOTE: This is a sponsored PhD course by the Nordic Political Science Association (NoPSA).

Objectives
There is a debate in the literature about the significance of the changes to the Nordic welfare state model over the past decades. Do the changes signify the end of the Nordic welfare state model as we know it? Or do they imply that Nordic welfare state models are able to adapt successfully to new challenges? (Greve and Kvist, 2011; Dølvik, Goul Andersen and Vartiainen, 2015; Kvist et al., 2011). How do we assess challenges and crises? How do we conceptualise reforms in the Nordic welfare states? It is important to accurately analyse the causal linkages between various crises/challenges with reform responses to assess why, how and to what extent Nordic welfare states have been reformed. This course is located in the literature of comparative political economy, and assesses important questions about the (altering) relationship between states, markets and families over time in the context of globalization and Europeanization.

This course analyses the alterations to the Nordic welfare state model - based on universalism, equality, a high degree of social cohesion and trust - in the context of various challenges and crises. These questions are important in the wake of slow-moving endogenous challenges and exogenous ’crises’ – such as the financial crisis of 2007 - in the Nordic countries and elsewhere in Europe. It is particularly important since the Nordic model - particularly well-known for being able to achieve social cohesion with high productivity and growth rates - has been a source of inspiration in Europe and globally. The Nordic flexicurity model and policies for reconciling work and family life are now key components in the European Union’s social investment strategy, designed to be implemented across European countries in the context of permanent austerity.

This course analyses various policy areas - including pensions policy, family policy and employment and labour market policy – to elucidate and discuss changes in the Nordic welfare state model. Throughout the course there will be special emphasis on theory and concepts, focusing on their operationalization and measurement.   


Key books
Participants must obtain and read these books in advance of attending the course:

  • Kvist, J. Fritzell, J. and Kangas, O. (Eds.) (2012), Changing Social Equality: The Nordic welfare model in the 21st century, Policy Press
  • Natali, D. and Bonoli, G (Eds.) (2012), The Politics of the New Welfare State, Oxford University Press: Oxford


COURSE OUTLINE
- All lectures by Caroline de la Porte, except lecture 3 and 4 by Bo Rothstein

Lecture 1: The Nordic Welfare State Model: still distinct?
This lecture will present the build of the course, which is located in the literature on comparative political economy. The course focuses on features of and alterations to labour markets and welfare states in the Nordic countries, with a special emphasis on the last decade.

The introductory lecture also presents key features of the Nordic welfare state model - universalism, equality, social cohesion, full employment - and main patterns of changes over the last decades.

Core readings:

  • Kvist, J., Fritzell, J., Hvinden, B., and Kangas, O. (2012) ’Changing social inequality and the Nordic welfare model’, in eds. Kvist, J. Fritzell, J. and Kangas, O. Changing Social Equality: The Nordic welfare model in the 21st century, Policy Press: Bristol: 1-22.
  • Kvist, J. and Greve, B. (2011) ’Has the Nordic Welfare Model Been Transformed?’ Social Policy and Administration, 45 (2): 146–160.

Additional readings:

  • Kautto, M., Heikkilä, M., Hvinden, B., Marklund, S., and Ploug, N. eds. (1999) Nordic Social Policy: Changing Welfare States, Routledge, 1999 (can be downloaded).
  • Kautto, M., Fritzell, J., Hvinden, B., Kvist, J and Uusitalo, H. eds.  (2001), Nordic Welfare States in the Euroepan Context, Routledge.
  • Kvist, J. Fritzell, J. and Kangas, O. eds. (2012) Changing Social Equality: The Nordic welfare model in the 21st century, Policy Press.
  • Oesch, D. (2015), ‘Welfare regimes and change in employment structure: Britain, Denmark and Germany since 1990’, Journal of European Social Policy,25(1): 94-110.


Lecture 2: Central Concepts in Welfare State Analyses
This lecture will discuss core concepts in welfare state analysis, focusing on their operationalisation and measurement. It especially focuses on equality and universality. It discusses the relevance of these concepts and their applicability for welfare state analysis, with a focus on the Nordic welfare state.

Core readings:

  • Esping-Andersen, G. (1990) (Chapter 2) De-commodification in Social Policy. In: Gøsta Esping-Andersen, The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, pp. 35-54.
  • Esping-Andersen, G. (2015),  ‘Welfare regimes and social stratification’ Journal of European Social Policy 25: 124-134.
  • Goul Andersen, J. (2012) ’The Concept of Universalism and its Operationalization in a Mixed Economy of Welfare’, Centre for Comparative Welfare Studies Working Paper no: 81.
  • Olsen, G. (2011),’ Conceptualizing Equality: four ideals’ in Power and Inequality, Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Additional readings:

  • Anttonen, A. (2002),’Universalism and social policy: A Nordic-feminist revaluation’, Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, 10(2): 71-80.
  • Esping-Andersen, Gøsta. 1990. (Chapter 1) The Three Political Economies of the Welfare State. In: Gøsta Esping-Andersen, The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, pp. 9-34. (26 pages) (R)
  • Korpi, W. And Palme, J. (1998), «The Paradox of Redistribution and Strategies of Equality : Welfare State Institutions, Inequality and Poverty in the Western Countries», American Sociological Review, vol. 63, no. 5, 661 – 687. (BB)
  • Sartori, G. (1970) ’Concept Misformation in Political Science’ American Political Science Review, 64(4): 1033-1055.
  • Titmuss, R. (1950), “Universalism vs. Selection”, in eds. Pierson, C., and Castles, F., The Welfare state Reader, Polity Press pp. 42 – 50 (R)


Lecture 3: The Normative, Political and Economic Logic of the Universal Welfare State (lecturer: Bo Rothstein)
This lecture will focus on how to understand the basic normative, political and economic logic of the Nordic Welfare State Model. The goal is to compare ideological, historical, institutional and structural explanations for the existence of the Nordic Welfare State Model

Core readings:

  • Rothstein, Bo. 2015. "The Moral, Economic, and Political Logic of the Swedish Welfare State." Pp. 69-86 in The Oxford Handbook of Swedish Politics, edited by J. Pierre. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Rothstein, Bo. 2001. "The Universal Welfare State as a Social Dilemma." Rationality and Society 14(2):190-214.
  • Svallfors, Stefan. 2015. "Who Loves the Swedish Welfare State? Attitude Trends 1980–2010." Pp. 22-37 in The Oxford Handbook of Swedish Politics, edited by J. Pierre. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Additional readings:

  • Brewer, K.atherine B., Hans Oh and Shilpi Sharma. 2014. ""Crowding in" or " Crowding Out"? An Examination of the Impact of the Welfare State on Generalized Social Trust." International Journal of Social Welfare 23(1):61-68.
  • Kumlin, Staffan and Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen. 2014. How Welfare States Shape the Democratic Public : Policy Feedback, Participation, Voting and Attitudes. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Lindbeck, Assar. 2006. The Welfare State: Background - Achievements - Problems. New York: Palgrave.
  • Rothstein, Bo. 1998. Just Institutions Matter: The Moral and Political Logic of the Universal Welfare State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Lecture 4: Trust, Quality of Government, Ethnic Diversity and the Future of the Universal Welfare State (lecturer: Bo Rothstein)
This lecture will present two issues related to support for the Nordic Welfare State. The first is the role of social trust (or social capital) as a cause or an effect of the welfare state. The second is if increased ethnic diversity is detrimental to social cohesion and thereby undermines the social solidarity that is a pre-requisite for the electoral support for the universal welfare state. 

Core readings:

  • Charron, Nicholas and Bo Rothstein. 2014. “Social Trust, Quality of Government and Ethnic Diversity: An Empirical Analysis of 206 Regions in Europe.” QoG Working Paper 2014:20, University of Gothenburg. The Quality of Government Institute.
  • Dahlström, Carl, Johannes Lindvall and Bo Rothstein. 2013. "Corruption, Bureaucratic Failure and Social Policy Priorities." Political Studies 61(3):523-42.
  • Rothstein, Bo and Eric M. Uslaner. 2005. "All for All. Equality, Corruption and Social Trust." World Politics 58(3):41-73.
  • Svallfors, Stefan. 2013. "Government Quality, Egalitarianism, and Attitudes to Taxes and Social Spending: A European Comparison." European Political Science Review (online preview) 5(3):363-80.

Additional readings:

  • Bergh, Andreas and Christian Bjørnskov. 2011. "Historical Trust Levels Predict the Current Size of the Welfare State." Kyklos 64(1):1-19. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6435.2010.00492.x.
  • Bjornskov, Christian and Gert T. Svendsen. 2013. "Does Social Trust Determine the Size of the Welfare State? Evidence Using Historical Identification." Public choice 157(1-2):269-86.
  • Kumlin, Staffan and Bo Rothstein. 2005. "Making and Breaking Social Capital. The Impact of Welfare State Institutions." Comparative Political Studies 38(4):339-65.
  • Nannestad, Peter, Gert T. Svendsen, Peter T. Dinesen and Kim. M. Sonderskov. 2014. "Do Institutions or Culture Determine the Level of Social Trust? The Natural Experiment of Migration from Non-Western to Western Countries." Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 40(4):544-65.
  • Rothstein, Bo. 2011. The Quality of Government: Corruption, Social Trust and Inequality in a Comparative Perspective. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  • Rothstein, Bo, Marcus Samanni and Jan Teorell. 2012. "Explaining the Welfare State: Power Resources Vs. The Quality of Government." European Political Science Review 4(1):1-28.


Lecture 5: Challenges or Crises for (Nordic) Welfare States?
This lecture will discuss core concepts in welfare state analysis, focusing on their operationalisation and measurement. It especially focuses on equality and universality. It discusses the relevance of these concepts and their applicability for welfare state analysis, with a focus on the Nordic welfare state.

Core readings:

  • Gerdes, C. and Wadensjö, E. (2012) ‘Is immigration challenging the economic sustainability of the Nordic welfare model?’ in Kvist, J. Fritzell, J. and Kangas, O. eds. (2012) Changing Social Equality: The Nordic welfare model in the 21st century, Policy Press.
  • Jæger, M. & Kvist, J. (2003) Pressures on State Welfare in Post-industrial Societies: Is More or Less Better? Social Policy & Administration, 37(6): 555–72.
  • Pierson, P. (1998) Irresistible forces, immovable objects: post-industrial welfare states confront permanent austerity, Journal of European Public Policy, 5(4): 539-560.

Additional readings

  • Davidsson, J. and Emmenegger, P. (2012), ‘Insider-outsider Dynamics and the Reform of Job Security Legislation’ in Bonoli, G. and Natali, D. (eds.) The Politics of the New Welfare State, Oxford University Press.
  • Esping-Andersen G. (1999) ‘New Social Risks in Old Welfare States’ Social Foundations of Post-industrial Economies, Oxford: Oxford University Press: 32-47.
  •  Pierson, P. (1996), ‘The New Politics of the Welfare State’,  World Politics, 48(2): 143-179.


Lecture 6: Reforms in the Nordic countries: Pensions
Pension reform has been on-going for decades across the industrialized democracies, to respond to the challenges of aging populations, public debt, as well as societal changes (new family forms, new patterns of labor market participation throughout the lifecourse). This session discusses the main changes and what they signify for economic sustainability as well as well-being in old-age. The pension systems in the Nordic countries are discussed in a comparative perspective. 

Core readings:

  • Ebbinghaus, B. (2012), ‘Europe’s Transformation Towards a Renewed Pension System’, in eds. Natali, D. and Bonoli, G. The Politics of the New Welfare State, Oxford University Press: Oxford: 182-205.
  • Hinrichs, K. and Jessoula, M., (2012) ‘Labour Market Flexibility and Pension Reforms: What Prospects for Security in Old-Age?’, in eds. Hinrichs, K. and Jessoula, M. (2012), Labour Market Flexibility and Pension Reforms: Flexible Today, Secure Tomorrow? Palgrave Macmillan: London, 1-28.
  • Hinrichs, K. and Jessoula, M., ‘Flexible Today, Secure Tomorrow? (2012), in eds. Hinrichs, K. and Jessoula, M., Labour Market Flexibility and Pension Reforms: Flexible Today, Secure Tomorrow? Palgrave Macmillan: London, 233-250.
  • Ploug, N. (2012), ‘The Danish Flexicurity Model and Old Age Protection’(2012), in eds. Hinrichs, K. and Jessoula, M., Labour Market Flexibility and Pension Reforms: Flexible Today, Secure Tomorrow? Palgrave Macmillan: London

Additional readings:

  • Clasen, J. And Clegg, D. (2007), “Levels and levers of conditionality : measuring change within welfare states”, in eds. Clasen, J. And Siegel, N., Investigating Welfare State Change: The ‘Dependent Variable Problem’ in Comparative Analysis, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2007, 166 – 197.
  • European Commission (2015) The 2015 Pension Adequacy Report: current and future income adequacy in old age in the EU. Volume 1, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union (downloadable from the European Commission website)


Lecture 7: Reform in the Nordic countries: Family and care policies
Family policy is one of the corner-stones of the Nordic model, since it facilitates the combination of work and family life. The core features of family policy, allowing not only for labour market participation of men and women, but also involvement in care responsibility for both genders will be analysed. The family policies in the Nordic countries are discussed in a comparative perspective. 

Core readings:

  • Datta Gupta, N. et al. (2008), “The impact of Nordic countries’ family policies on employment, wages and children”, Review of Economics of the Household, vol. 6, no. 1, 65-89. (24 p.)
  • Esping-Andersen, G. (2009), ‘Families and the Revolution in Women’s Roles’, The Incomplete Revolution, Policy Press: Cambridge: 19-54.
  • Meagher, G. and Szebehely, M. (2012), ‘Equality in the social service state: Nordic childcare models in comparative perspective’, in eds. Kvist, J. Fritzell, J. and Kangas, O. Changing Social Equality: The Nordic welfare model in the 21st century, Policy Press: Bristol 89-118.

Additional readings:

  • Barr, N. (2010), “Long-Term Care: A Suitable Case for Social Insurance”, Social Policy and Administration, vol. 44, no. 4, 359-74.  (15 p.)
  • Bradshaw, J. and Finch, N. (2010), “Family Benefits and Services”, in The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State, 462-478.
  • OECD (2011) “Doing Better for Families”, Ch. 4 Reducing barriers to parental employment, p. 129–171. (42 p.) http://www.oecd.org/els/family/doingbetterforfamilies.htm
  • OECD (2012) “Help Wanted? Providing and Paying for Long-Term Care”, http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/help-wanted.htm


Lecture 8: European Challenges or Crises for (Nordic) Welfare States
The Great Recession has hit the Eurozone’s soft spot – the interdependent, yet vastly different, economies of its members share a common monetary  policy, but maintain separate fiscal policies. In response to this mismatch, the governance of the EU’s Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) through the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) has been adapted, with the aim of preventing default in the Eurozone and future crises.

But what precisely has changed and what has the effect been on welfare states and equality? The changes to EMU's governance architecture following the crisis put indirect but strong pressure on welfare states, with an enhanced focus on fiscal consolidation. At the same time as promoting fiscal  prudence, the EU is also increasingly pushing for social investment, but through soft policy mechanisms. This session discusses the changed nature of EU intervention mechanisms. 

Core readings:

  • De la Porte, C. and Heins, E. (2016 forthcoming) ‘Introduction: Is the EU more involved in welfare state reform following the sovereign debt crisis? In eds. De la Porte, C. and Heins, E. (2016) The Sovereign Debt Crisis, the EU and Welfare State Reform, Palgrave Macmillan: London, 14pp.
  • de la Porte, C. and Heins, E. (2015) ‘A new era of European Integration? Governance of labour market and social policy since the sovereign debt crisis’ Comparative European Politics, 13(1): 8-28.
  • Morel, N. et al (2012) Social investment: a paradigm in search of a new economic model and political mobilisation, in Towards a Social Investment Welfare State? Ideas, Policies and Challenges, Policy Press, Bristol,  353-376 (R)
  • Streeck, W. (2011),’The Crises of Democratic Capitalism’, New Left Review, 71: 5-29.

Additional readings:

  • Bolukbasi, T. (2009), ‘On consensus, constraint and choice: economic and monetary integration and Europe's welfare states’, Journal of European Public Policy 16(4): 527-544.
  • Ferrera, M. (2014) ‘Social Europe and its Components in the Midst of the Crisis: A Conclusion’, West European Politics, 37:4, 825-843, DOI:10.1080/01402382.2014.919771
  • Scharpf, F. (2011), “Monetary Union, Fiscal Crisis and the Preemption of Democracy”, Working paper, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne: MPIfG.


Lecture 9: The causal impact of Europe on Welfare state reform in the Nordic countries
This session analyses the causal impact of Europe on welfare state reform in the Nordic countries. It is important to contextualize the nature of this influence, which is indirect. It also analyses the government strategies in implementing sensitive reforms, often shifting blame on Europe while claiming credit for ‘economically responsible’ reforms. 

Core readings:

  • Bonoli, G. ‘Blame Avoidance and Credit Claiming Revisited’ in eds. Natali, D. and Bonoli, G. The Politics of the New Welfare State, Oxford University Press: Oxford: 182-205.
  • de la Porte, C. & Natali, D. (2014) ’Altered Europeanisation of Pension Reform in the Context of the Great Recession: Denmark and Italy Compared’, West European Politics, 37:4, 732-749, DOI: 10.1080/01402382.2014.919770
  • Dølvik, J.E., Goul Andersen, J., Vartiainen, J. (2015) ’The Nordic Social Models in Turbulent Times: Consolidation and Flexible Adaptation’ in Dølvik, J.E and Martin, A. (eds) European Social Models from Crisis to Crisis: Employment and Inequality in the Era of Monetary Integration, 246-287.


Lecture 10: Policy responses during the Great Recession: the Nordic welfare state comparatively
This last session discusses policy responses in the Nordic countries during the Great Recession and assesses the extent to which the Nordic model is challenged, altered and/or robust. 

Core readings:

  • Bengtsson, M., De la Porte, C., and Jacobsson, K., ’ Labour Market Reform under Conditions of Permanent Austerity: Any Sign of Social Investment?’ manuscript submitted to Social Policy and Administration.
  • Dølvik, J.E., Goul Andersen, J., Vartiainen, J. (2015) ’The Nordic Social Models in Turbulent Times: Consolidation and Flexible Adaptation’ in Dølvik, J.E and Martin, A. (eds) European Social Models from Crisis to Crisis: Employment and Inequality in the Era of Monetary Integration, 246-287.
  • Kvist, J., Fritzell, J., Hvinden, B., and Kangas, O. (2012) ’Nordic responses to rising inequalities: still pursuing a distinct path or joining the rest?’, in eds. Kvist, J. Fritzell, J. and Kangas, O. Changing Social Equality: The Nordic welfare model in the 21st century, Policy Press: 201-205.


The lecturers
Caroline de la Porte is Head of Department at the Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.

Professor Bo Rothstein holds the August Röhss Chair in Political Science at University of Gothenburg in Sweden where he is head of the Quality of Government (QoG) Institute

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Tags: Comparative Politics, Political Science, Summer School, Sociology, PhD, Welfare State, Political Economy
Published Nov. 18, 2015 11:38 AM - Last modified Dec. 12, 2017 1:00 PM