Nordic ESPAnet

Nordic ESPAnet is a regional association that promotes research on welfare policy in the Nordic countries.

It aims at to support and strengthen networking among researchers across disciplines and countries. The workshops and conferences organized by Nordic ESPAnet support collaboration and encourage cross country comparisons, and the training of the next generation of experts in welfare policy. Nordic ESPAnet will be a platform for developing new research proposals and dialogue. It will provide profound understanding about welfare policy as an academic discipline. Furthermore, one of the main purposes of the network is offer support for the younger scholars.

What does the Nordic ESPAnet do in practice?

The board will organize biannual workshops for doctoral students and biannual conferences. The first conference was organised in Helsinki in 2019. The title was Towards resilient Nordic welfare states –challenges, responses and consequences. The website of conference will be used as a temporary website of Nordic ESPAnet.

The network is currently using the existing ESPAnet email address lists to disseminate information about the Nordic ESPAnet and our events to potential participants.

Upcoming event: The Nordic welfare states after COVID – momentum for reform or back to steady state?

9.-10.December 2021
(Online via Zoom, but depending on the Covid‐19 pandemic, there is a possibility of a hybrid conference and participation on site at Stockholm University)

The COVID‐19 pandemic hit the Nordic countries to varying degrees, and the responses also differed. Like in many other European countries, lock‐down measures of different magnitude were implemented, while social policies in many instances were strengthened. In several Nordic countries, the pandemic marks a sharp turn in welfare state development away from stagnation and decline that have characterized much of social policy developments since the early‐1990s, towards expansion. Most new measures or improvements are temporary, although powerful interest groups in some Nordic countries are mobilizing to make the changes in social policy more permanent. This of course raises the question whether in retrospect the COVID‐19 pandemic provided a momentum for more lasting reforms of the Nordic welfare states, or if social policy soon will revert back to where it was before the crisis.

We invite papers that address the changing nature of the Nordic welfare states and other European countries in the wake of the COVID‐19 pandemic (as an external shock) or in response to other structural and institutional changes. Both quantitative and qualitative investigations and studies focusing on either the drivers of policy reform or its outcomes are welcome. Papers may either concentrate on developments in a single country or adopt a comparative perspective. Studies addressing the Nordic and other European welfare states from a theoretical and conceptual perspective are also welcome.

In order to apply for the workshop, please send an abstract of 4‐500 words to Write “Nordic ESPAnet PhD workshop” in the subject. PhD students and early career researchers that are accepted to the workshop will be asked to provide a full paper (5000‐8000 words). Early career researchers who have completed their doctoral degree are asked to state the date of their PhD in the abstract. The full paper should be submitted to the organizers and participants ten days prior to the workshop. The paper should be accompanied by information of particular issues in the study that the participant wishes to discuss.

Important dates

Submission deadline for abstracts: 1 October 2021

Notification of acceptance: 15 October 2021

Deadline for the submission of full research proposals or papers: 1 December 2021 Workshop: 9‐10 December 2021

Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University

See further details below,

The Nordic ESPAnet Board

Professor Helena Blomberg-Kroll, University of Helsinki
Professor Guðný Björk Eydal, University of Iceland
Professor Jonas Edlund, Umeå University
Research Professor Anne Skevik Grødem, Institute for Social Research
Professor Rune Halvorsen, Oslo Metropolitan University
Professor Heikki Hiilamo, University of Helsinki / Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
Professor Liisa Häikiö, Tampere University
Professor Jon Kvist, Roskilde University
Professor Janine Leschke, Copenhagen Business School
Professor Thomas Lorentzen, University of Bergen
Professor Kenneth Nelson, Stockholm University
Pofessor Caroline de la Porte, Copenhagen Business School
Assistant professor Kolbeinn Hólmar Stefánsson, University of Iceland