Forskning ved Københavns Universitet - Københavns Universitet


Universalism and the Danish welfare state: Immigrant juvenile delinquency' and the effects of the making of approriate behavior through care and control

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningfagfællebedømt

The image of Scandinavian Welfare States as social-democratic welfare states, identified by principles of universalism, is still referred to as rather different from liberal welfare states and corporatist welfare states. In this paper, I want to indicate how the Danish welfare state operates on the basis of ambiguities between what Danish ethnologist Thomas Højrup terms a positive universalism of social policy and a negative universalism of cultural policy, and how it furthermore has traits of a liberal/neoliberal welfare state. The positive universalism gives everyone social rights, the right to public goods and a good life through provision of universal education, health and child care, but the negative universalism excludes some versions of the good life in favour of what has historically been determined and highlighted as a universal standard. ‘Welfare workers’ understood in a wide sense, but in this paper narrowed down to community police officers and street-based social workers’ work with immigrant juvenile delinquency in Copenhagen after 9-11, are inscribed in these relations and promotes both universalisms. In the paper, I will show how these specific welfare workers make symbolic boundaries of legitimate ‘universal’ behaviour and membership of the Danish community when the Danish welfare nation-state is affronted by globalisation and immigration after 9-11. They do so promoting Danish culture as sort of a superior democratic culture, and appealing for morally apt behaviour and interest in own individual development. Throughout Denmark’s history, there are examples of similar ‘internal front’ strategies to develop a civil and national identity as a defence and survival strategy in the regional and global community. Facing fascism and Nazism in Europe in the 1930s, it was stated politically that Denmark as a small state could never defend itself by military means, but it could stand strong symbolically, drawing on, e.g., progressive pedagogy voicing ‘schooling for democracy’. Thus, a Danish welfare nation-state formed after WWII as a political disciplinary project of state-crafting, and it was reproduced anew after 9-11.
Publikationsdato28 aug. 2015
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - 28 aug. 2015
BegivenhedGeopolitical Economy Reseach Group Inaugural Conference - University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
Varighed: 25 sep. 201527 sep. 2015


KonferenceGeopolitical Economy Reseach Group Inaugural Conference
LokationUniversity of Manitoba

ID: 143245726