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Understanding and Rethinking the Welfare State Cluster

Understanding and rethinking the Welfare State aims at research on the past and future development of welfare states. We believe understanding of the complex political, social, cultural, technological, and economic processes leading welfare states of today is the precondition for better decisions on tomorrow’s welfare states.

The overarching goal for the initiative is to better understand and rethink welfare states and through this initiative by bringing together different supplementary skills across SDU to:

1) expand international cooperation and external visibility of SDU welfare research

2) develop innovative cross-disciplinary welfare-related research projects and publications

3) contribute to understanding and solving major societal challenges.

The cluster combines a range of topics related to understanding the welfare state in modern societies such as gender relations, the role and regulation of families, migration and ethnic relations, the politics of the welfare state, inequality, health, aging, digitalization, education and life-long learning, and technology etc.

Research on welfare states and welfare policies is compartmentalized within specific academic disciplines (mostly social sciences and humanities). However, SDU and DIAS holds a unique position to develop innovative cross-disciplinary welfare research – and to expand inter-disciplinarity also into domains such as public health, new technology, climate sustainability.

The cluster is organized around a group of DIAS-researchers with a strong track record of working across disciplines and with an international network including leading scholars around the globe. DIAS Cluster: Understanding and rethinking the Welfare State will be open for SDU colleagues. Participating DIAS researchers represents several relevant groups around the university. Hence, the cluster will contribute to bridgebuilding between DIAS and the broader SDU – as well as strengthen the impact of existing groups.

The Cluster is coordinated by professors Anne-Marie Mai and Klaus Petersen.

Activities will be co-organized with the participants. The group of participants will meet for planning and business once pr. semester. DIAS Cluster: Understanding and Rethinking the Welfare State will coordinate existing research initiatives and for the development of new cross-disciplinary initiatives in terms of workshops, discussions, publications, funding applications etc. The cluster has special focus on facilitating research careers for young researchers.

Plan for activities will be developed by the participants.


Activities in DIAS welfare cluster


1oth April: 

8-9th February: What can recent late-life style studies tell us about old age?


19th September: Visit by Danish poet Casper Eric – panel discussion on welfare state and disability

27th September: Marius Busemeyer DIAS lecture on digitalization and the welfare state

11th October: Jan Vogler gives a DIAS lecture on “Pandemics and Political Development – The Electoral Legacy of the Black Death in Germany”

27th October: 10-11: Virtual planning meeting for participants

8th November: Annette Baudisch gives her DIAS lecture on the dynamics of demography

5th December: 10-14: start-up workshop for participants


DIAS Welfare Cluster participants:

Anne-Marie Mai

Klaus Petersen

Kaare Christensen

Norbert Krüger

Nina Bonderup Dohn

Pieter Vanhuysse

Gareth Millward

Bryan Yazell

Lasse Aaskoven

Anette Baudisch

Cecilie Bjerre


Last Updated 02.04.2024