The SWAP research environment focuses on research related to the welfare state and vulnerable groups in society-
Our aim, in part, is to highlight the diverse perspectives, methodologies and expertise on social welfare and health policy that currently exist within the Department of Social Work, Child Welfare and Social Policy. Member projects (both externally funded and own/FoU-financed) are thematically focused on individual and group-level socioeconomic and labour market marginalization, exclusion, participation, and capabilities, with particular focus on the following welfare sectors: health, social assistance, social security, and child welfare (see Table 1 for our areas of expertise). Broadly speaking, our work traces and analyses the role played by the state within global, national and local contexts in the development and impact of continuing trends in social welfare policy and services. From varying theoretical and methodological perspectives, we attend to the ways in which welfare societies deal with social problems and how various forms of welfare structures influence the welfare – and possibly, the ‘ill-fare’ – of individuals, groups and society-at-large. As such, welfare and health services, professionals and service users are a central focus.
SWAP draws from a broad and diverse array of theoretical perspectives and methodologies, from macro- to micro- and at interactional levels. Our methodological range includes analysis of big registry and survey data, historical and comparative analysis of policies and legal texts, analysis of ethical and normative issues, comparative analyses of policies and policy impacts using quantitative and qualitative methods, critical literature reviews on special topics, quantitative and qualitative methods applied to life course studies, process evaluations and evidence-based research, and qualitative methodologies applied to interactional, ethnographic and discourse analyses.
The broader research environment will be further comprised of smaller sub-groups, according to more narrow project, thematic or methodological focus. Sub-groups will be determined by the members, are expected to be dynamic, and will vary with the establishment of new externally funded projects and with shifts in the composition and expertise of group members.
SWAP is an anchor for national and international level externally funded and HiOA-financed research and research-education projects in the fields of social welfare and health policy research within the Institute for Social Work, Child Welfare and Social Policy. Our activities will support the acquisition, development and dissemination of findings from externally -funded research from Norwegian, EU and outside-EU/international sources, as well as the development and dissemination of project research funded via own/FoU time. Prioritized activities include coordination of fora for scholars from PhD to Professor levels to present their research and research plans, support for members seeking, planning and publicizing externally and FoU funded research, and the coordination of fora for scholars to write and critique academic articles.