The purpose of welfare policies is to ensure good standard of living, good health and a high quality of life for the population. This requires a continuous revision of our knowledge about social policy, services and benefits, users of the welfare state in general and vulnerable groups in particular.
The goal of the Department of Health and Welfare Studies at NOVA is to build expertise in these fields and contribute to this knowledge base.
Head of research group
More about our research
As a society we need expertise about:
- social, geographical, economic and cultural inequalities in the standard of living
- socio-economic and social inequalities in health
- inequalities in the distribution of service provisions
- inclusion in work and education
- the organisation of the welfare state apparatus, management and decision-making processes
- the divergent standard of living among linguistic and cultural minorities , people with disabilities, and recipients of income security schemes
Challenges for the welfare state
Welfare states face multiple challenges, including the question of how the climate and environmental crisis will affect the population’s social and economic living conditions and how this will form a framework for future welfare policies. Another issue is the growing threat to democratic processes. Thirdly, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected both everyday life and public policy.
It is also a challenge for the welfare states to ensure a comprehensive range of services for people with complex needs. It is important to obtain knowledge on how:
- environment/climate, social and economic conditions are related
- democracy can be equipped to deal with the challenges of today and the future
- the Covid-19 pandemic has been dealt with in Norway and internationally and what effects it will have on upbringing and gender equality
- new forms of organisation and management are decided and implemented, and how they affect the everyday lives of those who depend on help
Our researchers, postdoctoral fellows and PhD students represent a wide range of disciplines (sociology, political science, social economics, social geography, psychology, social work and cultural studies) and work to provide evidence-based responses to these questions.
We lead and are involved in national and international research projects, funded by, among others: the EU; the EEA; the Research Council of Norway; the Norwegian ministries; directorates; and civil society organizations.
- Elstad, J.I. & Vabø, M. (2021). Lack of recognition at the societal level heightens turnover considerations among Nordic eldercare workers: a quantitative analysis of survey data. 10 s. BMC Health Services Research (biomedcentral.com)
- Tolgensbakk, I. (2021). Social generations in popular culture. I Falch-Eriksen, A., Takle, M., & B. Slagsvold (red.). Generational Tensions and Solidarity Within Advanced Welfare States (routledge.com)
- Bjørnshagen, V. & Ugreninov, E. (2021). Disability Disadvantage: Experimental Evidence of Hiring Discrimination against Wheelchair Users. European Sociological Review (academic.oup.com)
- Friedman, J. et al. (2021). COVID-19 and the Nordic Paradox: a call to measure the inequality reducing benefits of welfare systems in the wake of the pandemic. Social Science and Medicine (sciencedirect.com)
- Takle, M. (2021). Common concern for the global ecological commons: solidarity with future generations?’. International Relations (journals.sagepub.com)
- Finnvold, J.E. (2021). Integrating Students with Disabilities in Schools. Lessons from Norway. Palgrave Pivot (link.springer.com)
- Schøyen, M. (2021). Norway. I Immergut, E. et al. (red.). Health Politics in Europe: A Handbook. Oxford University Press (global.oup.com)
- Patel, K. et al. (2020). Unmet need for mental health medication within the migrant population of Northern Ireland: a record linkage study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (jech.bmj.com)
- Sherry, M., Olsen, T., Vedeler, J.S. & Eriksen, J. (red.) (2019). Disability Hate Speech. Social, Cultural and Political Contexts (routledge.com). Routledge
More publications are listed on the researcher's employee pages.
Socio-spatial Inequality among Families with Children with Disabilities who are Entitled to Cash Benefits and Welfare Services (UPTAKE)
The research project will provide insight into the uptake and delivery of benefits and services among parents of children with disabilities.
HIRE? A Mixed-method Examination of Disability and Employers Inclusive Working Life Practices
Employers' understandings of disability as well as their broader knowledge and skills are likely to influence their risk assessments and hiring practices. HIRE? aims to fill this knowledge gap.
CONTEXT – Creating Integrated Person-centred Care in Different Settings
This project addresses how settings and contexts which enhance people-centred care can be created.
Direct and Indirect Costs of Disabilities in Children (BUDGET)
The research project addresses the costs aspects of caring for a child with a disability.
EUROSHIP – Closing Gaps in Social Citizenship. New Tools to Foster Social Resilience in Europe
The overall aim of the EUROSHIP project is to provide an original and gender-sensitive assessment of the current gaps in social protection across Europe.
Consequences of the Pandemic for Living Conditions and Equality
In this project we will investigate the consequences of the pandemic for living conditions for children and young people, equality in families and for individuals, including children and adults with disabilities.
Crisis Management in a Polycentric Nordic Local Democracy (POLYGOV)
The overall goal of the project is to identify the differences in the Nordic countries’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the outcomes thereof and to relate these differences to policy, governance, organisation and management.
- Socio-spatial Inequality among Families with Children with Disabilities who are Entitled to Cash Benefits and Welfare Services (UPTAKE)
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in both a global health crisis and a financial crisis on a scale never before seen in modern times. The labour market that emerges in the wake of the crisis may impact younger workers harder than others.