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Klaus Petersen

Chair of Humanities
Department of Language and Culture


PhD. Klaus Petersen is professor of welfare history at the Department of History and Department of Political Science at SDU. Since 2008, he has been the director of the cross-disciplinary Danish Centre for Welfare Studies (DaWS). He is also a docent in political history at Helsinki University and a part-time professor (2018-2020) at the University of Oslo.

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Professor Klaus Petersen is chairperson of the Danish Historical Association (since 2017), co-founder of the Sino-Nordic Network on Welfare, and co-founder of the Nordwel Summer Schools Inter-disciplinary Welfare Studies. He is the former editor-in-chief of Scandinavian Journal of History, and from 2007-2014 he was co-director of the Nordic Centre of Excellence Nordwel.

His main research interest is the development of the welfare state, which he has studied from several perspectives such as the development of specific policies, the politics of the welfare state, welfare concepts and semantics, war and welfare development. Trained as a historian – he holds a PhD. in history from the University of Copenhagen (2001) – he has increasingly worked inter-disciplinary combining insights and methods from history, social science and literature studies. Beyond strict academic publications, he is also co-author of best-selling books on Danish Design furniture.

For more information about Professor Klaus Petersen, please refer to the SDU Research Portal.