Solidarity and Philanthrophy

Voluntarism, Voluntary Associations, and the Future of the Danish Welfare State

Thursday May 24 at 13.15

The small welfare states in North Western Europe are undergoing a transformation. The so-called Nordic welfare state ‘model’ based upon extended universalistic social rights and financed by taxation is rapidly changing. This welfare model is challenged by difficulties controlling expenses but also by criticism raised from the right as well as the left puts a pressure on the welfare state. Consequently, we see how new forms of partnerships (private-public partnerships) and new ways of financing the welfare state (e.g. marketization and privatization) but so far with limited success. Therefore, we see more and more municipalities experimenting with strategies related to voluntary work. This panel will discuss how a future welfare state will develop if we provide more welfare services based upon voluntary work. What kind of implication will it have? Will it finally give the citizens more choice? Or will it lead to a welfare state with more inequality? The wealthy people can afford high-quality elderly care whereas the ‘last 20 %’ will have less choices and are forced to accept the minimum standard solution? Will we get better services if we replace the professional services with voluntary work? Can more voluntary work strengthen democracy? How does we increase the number of people participating in voluntary work? These and other questions, challenges, and dilemmas will be discussed by the panel.

Workshop participants:

Hanne Kathrine Krogstrup, Aalborg University:
Can “co-creation” solve the financial problems in the public sector?

Christiane Mossin, University of Copenhagen:
What are the implications for democracy in a future welfare state if the role of voluntary associations will increase?

Lars Bo Kaspersen, CBS:
Voluntariness in the future welfare state – new perspectives.

Lars Benjaminsen, VIVE:

The workshop is organized by professor Lars Bo Kaspersen, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, e-mail:, Tel.: +45 3532 3440


Philanthropy as the Co-creator of the Welfare State

Thursday May 24 at 15.15

Typically, philanthropic and voluntary associations are seen as amending poorly or badly functioning welfare states. Thus, a strong welfare state should not need philanthropic associations. In Denmark, the philanthropic sector has seen great progress in recent years, both in terms of its enlarged financial contribution to society and as a partnering with the welfare state. When we examine the role of philanthropy throughout history both in Denmark and the United States, we can identify that philanthropy has played a major role throughout the welfare state by co-defining which groups, values and institutions the welfare state should include and build upon. These studies show that a growth in philanthropic endeavours not only signify a decline in the welfare state. But it may indicate a new or changed role of philanthropic endeavours as co-creates of the welfare state.  Based on research from both Denmark and the United States, this workshop will discuss the role of philanthropy as a co-creater of the welfare state, both historical and in today's welfare state. How it is played out during the current national and global crisis of financial, political and social origins? And which consequences it entails? 

Workshop participants:

Anker Brink Lund, DBP, Copenhagen Business School:
Is philanthropy relevant in a welfare society? And what role does the foundations play in the development of Danish society

Liv Egholm, DBP, Copenhagen Business School:
Philanthropy as the co-creator of the welfare state

Elisabeth Clemens, Chicago University:
Philanthropy as governance: Private Acts and Public Goods?

Camilla Bjerre Damgaard, Programchef, Egmont Fonden:

The workshop is organized by Liv Egholm, CBS