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Danish Center for Welfare Studies

Welfare abuse or abusive welfare?

Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Gareth Millward:  "Welfare abuse or abusive welfare?"
Welfare systems have provided help to people in need for centuries: from monks giving medical aid in medieval monasteries, to governments providing sickness benefits for those affected by coronavirus. But in return for help, societies expect certain standards of behaviour. Those who claim too much or too often are said to “abuse” the state, and there are longstanding cultural and legal practices for punishing such people. And yet, what is considered abusive has not remained the same across time, with governments and citizens often having conflicting views on the matter. Indeed, in attempts to curtail some kinds of abuse and provide protection, welfare states have themselves been labelled abusive – because they allowed, or even actively caused, harm to come to those they were supposed to help. In this presentation, I will outline how my past and future research tackles these questions historically. In doing so, I explain how this work is impossible without an interdisciplinary perspective on the concept of abuse – and how I believe DIAS and SDU are a perfect venue for these discussions.
About Gareth Millward:
Gareth Millward completed his PhD at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine on the relationship between disability voluntary organizations and the development of what we now call “disability policy” in the United Kingdom after the Second World War. Dr Millward has also held post-doctoral positions at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the University of Warwick and the University of Birmingham, working on topics as diverse as vaccination policy, medical certification, and the interaction between voluntary and state institutions in Britain’s National Health Service


This lecture takes place at the DIAS seminarroom. The lecture will not be livestreamed but will be uploaded to the DIAS YouTube channel the following week.
Editing was completed: 05.04.2022