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Completed 2020


Prof Geoff Lindsay and Dr Elisabeth Arweck (CES) 

Prof. Geoff Lindsay is one of the international partners of a new five-year (2014–2017) project on Pluralisation, the Welfare State and Civil Associations, funded by the Norwegian Research Council and located in the International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS) at the University of Stavanger in Norway. The project director is Prof. Hilmar Rommetvedt in the Department of Social Science, Welfare and Politics. Dr Elisabeth Arweck in the Warwick Religious and Education Research Unit in CES is the lead researcher.

Other international partners are Prof. Geir Skeie of the Centre for Teaching and Learning in the Humanities at Stockholm University; Prof. Per Ola Öberg, Dept of Political Science at Uppsala University, Sweden; Prof. Kees van Kersberger, Dept of Political Science and Government at Aarhus University, Denmark; and Prof. Anne Skorkjær Binderkrantz, Dept of Political Science and Government at Aarhus University.

The main objective is to reach a better understanding of the significance of civil associations for the future of the Norwegian welfare state. Other objectives are: 1) to carry out in-depth empirical studies of mechanisms which are at work in the relationship between public authorities and civil associations in the field of social welfare, 2) to discuss the implications for the organisation and legitimacy of the civil and public sector, 3) to provide the international and national research community with new perspectives on the development of the Nordic welfare state, 4) to make policy recommendations on whether and how the welfare state should co-operate with civil associations, in order to (i) maintain the sustainability and legitimacy of the welfare state, (ii) improve welfare services and (iii) achieve the integration of migrant groups.

The project consists of a number of sub-studies which approach the research questions from different angles, but are designed to complement each other. These studies combine qualitative and quantitative methods. The international partnerships will supply comparative perspectives on the role of civil associations in the Norwegian welfare state by taking the findings from Norway and discussing these in relation to relevant developments in Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK. The project team will have its first meeting in Stavanger in March 2015.