Democracy and Participation

Immigration and Integration: Challenging the Welfare State

Friday May 25 at 10.15

Immigration is continually re-shaping national populations, so that the ‘people’ each welfare state serves is changing over time. While some newcomers come with large social capital, ready to contribute to the receiving society, many others come with specific social, health and educational needs. At the same time, the diversification of welfare societies may cause native populations to be less willing to support and contribute resources to a broad welfare regime—due to perceptions that welfare is exploited, declining shared identity, outgroup prejudice, or all of the above. Thus immigration, and the integration of immigrants once arrived, present specific challenges to the services and sustainability of the welfare state.

In this workshop, we present a discussion of these dynamics—from the specifics of how the welfare state is meeting new refugees and how it is ‘making new citizens’ through education and labor market integration, to the big question of whether welfare states are functionally and politically sustainable in an age of immigration.

Workshop participants:

Karen Nielsen Breidahl, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Aalborg University:
The process of socio-cultural integration of non-Western migrants and the role of the Scandinavian welfare states

Jan Germen Janmaat (UCL, London):
School as integration tool: The welfare state and children of immigrants

Keith Banting (Queen’s University, Canada):
The politics of solidarity in diverse societies: Is a multicultural welfare State politically sustainable?

Grete Brochmann (University of Oslo):
Immigration and the Nordic Model. An uneasy relationship

The workshop is organized by Emily Cochran Bech, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Aarhus University, e-mail:, Phone: +45 8716 5609

Inclusion and Exclusion at the Frontline of Welfare States

Friday May 25 at 13.00

Traditionally we think of welfare states as historical and political solutions to problems of poverty and material need. Today, however, welfare states are faced not only with problems of poverty and material need, but also with problems of creating inclusion, integration and a sense of belonging and opportunity for all citizen. Dealing with such problems requires a change of focus from redistribution to recognition, and to a discussion of how frontline professionals provide not only security, health and education, but also a sense of social membership and citizen-identities – or the opposite: discrimination or exclusion. Based on research from Denmark and USA, this workshop will present a discussion of different ways in which encounters between welfare professionals and citizens can create inclusion and social membership, and how such encounters can produce or reinforce discrimination and possible exclusion.

Workshop participants:

Michael Musheno, University of Oregon:
Building Trust and Inclusion in a High-Poverty School

Laura Gilliam, DPU, Aarhus University:
The ideal of the civilised community: Inclusive and exclusive processes in the Danish school and society

Eva Gulløv, DPU, Aarhus University:
Civilising offensives and de-civilising processes: Reflections on tendencies in educational institutions and professional dilemmas in contemporary Denmark

The workshop is organized by Gitte Sommer Harrits, Department of Political Science, Aarhus University, e-mail: , Tel: +45 8716 5579 / +45 5129 3391