Adequate social policy responses for transformational challenges in the Nordic countries and beyond?

Nordic ESPAnet-ReNEW workshop for doctoral students and early career researchers, 7–8 December 2023, Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen.
Call for applications

This workshop focuses on the extent to which social policies respond adequately to various exogenous and endogenous challenges in the Nordic countries. These challenges include digitalisation, climate change, demographic ageing, and labour shortages. All have the potential to profoundly transform labour markets and welfare states. Digitalisation has, among other issues, prompted new forms of precarious work, which challenge the access to labour and social rights. Transformations in view of mitigating climate change, including in industry and energy policy, require new skills, signifying that some workers may become redundant. Furthermore, energy poverty could become more pronounced in coming years. Demographic ageing puts public finances under pressure, in particular health and, to a lesser extent, pensions. Moreover, labour shortages have emerged, for instance in the welfare and services sectors. This requires a change in migration policies. These and other challenges have intensified discussions on how to balance financial sustainability with social rights and decent jobs in the Nordic countries.

We welcome contributions within these themes drawing on qualitative and/or quantitative evidence from Nordic countries and beyond. We encourage comparative country analyses, but we are also interested in studies focusing on a single country, region or sector.

Please send a 500 word abstract to Anders Weis Christiansen by 22 of September 2023. We will respond to you by mid-October. The final version of your paper to be discussed at the workshop is expected by 24 November 2023. We welcome papers or chapters at all stages of your PhD or post-doc.

Lunches and one dinner will be provided but travel and accommodation is on own cost.

The workshop will:

  • provide doctoral students and early career researchers with an opportunity to present their current work and to receive constructive feedback from an international panel of professors and peer-doctoral-students and early career researchers.
  • develop a supportive network of PhD and early career researchers with an interest in Nordic welfare research.
  • provide you with eligibility for the ESPAnet and ReNEW early career prizes.

Preliminary programme

7 December

10:00 Welcome and introduction
Professor Caroline de la Porte & Professor Janine Leschke

10:15 – 11:00 Keynote: Platform work: challenges and solutions for labour markets in the Nordics
Professor Janine Leschke

11:15-12.45 Parallel student paper sessions 1–3


14:00-15.45 Parallel student paper sessions 4–5

16:15-17:00 Keynote (online): Migration and Welfare States: Balancing Dilemmas in the Nordics
Professor Christian Albrecht Larsen

18:30 Dinner

8 December

09:00 – 09:45 Keynote: Pension reforms: managing adequacy and financial sustainability in the Nordics?
Professor Jon Kvist

10:00-11:45 Parallel student paper sessions 5-7

11:45 – 13:00 Lunch Break

13:00-15:00 Parallel student paper sessions 8-10

15:00-15:15 Coffee Break

15:15-16:30 Professional advice for early career scholars
Professors Caroline de la Porte, Janine Leschke, Jon Kvist

For the parallel sessions we will follow the “Korpi rule”: the discussant will present and comment on the paper (10 minutes), the author will then have the opportunity to give a brief comment before the Q & A. This is to provide you with the most in-depth feedback possible.

The workshop is co-organized by the European Network for Social Policy Analysis ESPANET and ReNEW. 

Local organizing committee: Professor Caroline de la Porte (Copenhagen Business School), Professor Janine Leschke (Copenhagen Business School), Professor Jon Kvist (Roskilde University).

Nordic ESPAnet board: Professor Caroline de la Porte (Copenhagen Business School), Professor Janine Leschke (Copenhagen Business School), Professor Guðný Björk Eydal (University of Iceland), Professor Helena Blomberg-Kroll (University of Helsinki), Professor Rune Halvorsen (Oslo Metropolitan University), Professor Heikki Hiilamo, (University of Helsinki / National Institute for Health and Welfare), Professor Liisa Häikiö (Tampere University), Professor Minna van Gerven (Tampere University), Professor Jon Kvist (Roskilde University), Professor Thomas Lorentzen (University of Bergen), Professor Kenneth Nelson (Stockholm University), Research Professor Anne Skevik Grødem (Institute for Social Research), Kolbeinn H. Stefánsson, Associate Professor (University of Iceland).