Nordic eldercare – weak universalism becoming weaker?

Marta Szebehely, Gabrielle Meagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article builds on recent research on the fortunes of universalism in European social policy by tracing the development of eldercare policy in four Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Six dimensions of universalism are used to assess whether and how eldercare has been universalized or de-universalized in each country in recent decades and the consequences of the trends thereby identified. We find that de-universalization has occurred in all four countries, but more so in Finland and Sweden than in Denmark and Norway. Available data show an increase in for-profit provision of publicly funded care services (via policies promoting service marketization), and an increase of family care (re-familialization), as well as of services paid out-of-pocket (privatization). These changes have occurred without an explicit attack on universalism or retrenchment of formal rights. Nevertheless, the changes threaten the class- and gender-equalizing potential of Nordic welfare states.
LanguageEnglish
Pages294-308
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of European Social Policy
Volume28
Issue number3
Early online date10 Dec 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

Fingerprint

universalism
Denmark
Finland
Norway
Sweden
European social policy
social policy
privatization
welfare state
gender
profit
trend
services
policy

Keywords

  • universalism
  • privatisation
  • eldercare
  • Nordic countries
  • re-familialisation

Cite this

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Nordic eldercare – weak universalism becoming weaker? / Szebehely, Marta; Meagher, Gabrielle.

In: Journal of European Social Policy, Vol. 28, No. 3, 01.07.2018, p. 294-308.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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