The Welfare State
Welfare states play a key role in promoting the economic and social welfare of citizens and in society's development.
The Nordic model
A founding pillar is the principal of insurance: the state protects citizens against social risks over the course of their lives through such policies as sick pay, parental leave, and unemployment and disability benefits. Welfare states also provide public services in the form education, health and child-care.
A central typology divides welfare states into three different regimes:
- The liberal (as in USA)
- The conservative/corporative (as in Germany)
- The social democratic (as in Norway).
The different regimes divide the production of welfare between state, market and family in considerably different ways, with significantly different consequences for the amount and distribution of welfare. The social democratic, or Nordic, model is characterised by generous social universal social policies and a broad spectrum of public services. It is based upon high employment, which gives a broad basis for publicly tax-financed welfare. Equal opportunities and a levelling of social and economic differences are central goals.
Studies of the Norwegian/Nordic welfare model - its characteristics, development and challenges – is a research topic with a long history at ISS.
Helga Bernhardine Helgesen (1863-1936) was a Norwegian teacher and cookbook author. She taught at Kampen School from 1889. She was undoubtedly a person equiped with a social conscience and insight, and faced with the poor working class of Kampen, the under- and mal-nourished children, the thought grew in her how she, a well educated person, could help to improve the conditions under which they lived. Photo: Frank Paul Silye (© All rights reserved, Flickr)
The welfare state, work and family
Norwegian and Nordic family policy has held a central position in the department's research: What models for support and care characterize family policy, and what consequences do these have for gender equality? What significance does the Norwegian model have for women's professional activity and their fertility?
The Welfare State and immigration
In a time of increasing internalisation the relationship between welfare states and the rights and duties of citizens. Economic globalisation processes have raised new questions for the Norwegian welfare state model. Research at ISS focuses upon consequences of immigration for the welfare state, including policies of redistribution and inclusion of new citizens into society.
Research fields and researchers at ISS::
- Labour policy, labour regimes: Anne Lise Ellingsæter, Heidi Nicolaisen
- Citizenship: Grete Brochmann, Arnlaug Leira, Jon Rogstad
- The Norwegian/Nordic welfare state model: Grete Brochmann, Anne Lise Ellingsæter, Cathrine Holst, Arnlaug Leira, Lars Mjøset
- European social and gender equality policy: Cathrine Holst, Arnlaug Leira
- Family policy and fertility: Anne Lise Ellingsæter, Eirin Pedersen
- Family policy: Anne Lise Ellingsæter, Arnlaug Leira
- The welfare state, work and family: Anne Lise Ellingsæter, Arnlaug Leira, Heidi Nicolaisen, Eirin Pedersen
- The welfare state and feminist theory: Cathrine Holst
- The welfare state and immigration: Grete Brochmann, Jon Rogstad
- The welfare stateand careers/professions: Lise Kjølsrød