The Paradigmatic Struggle for Legitimacy of the Danish Welfare State regarding the Provision of Welfare Services: Taking care of vulnerable children and youths as a core problem

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The Danish welfare state constitutes a paradigmatic case of the welfare struggle of modern welfare states. Taking care of vulnerable children and youths is used as a case study here, to illustrate the efforts of the welfare state to acquire legitimacy as a body of public administration. That is, the efforts to close the gap between the welfare state´s ideology of doing what is ‘good’ for its citizens and doing this in practice. In this article, we analyze this struggle for legitimacy of the Danish welfare state with illustrations based on the case study. We present the concepts of biopower and moral blindness, in order to test the legitimacy of the welfare state´s provision of welfare services at the beginning of this century. We propose a new paradigm to improve the welfare state´s legitimacy.
TidsskriftNordicum - Mediterraneum
Udgave nummer4
Antal sider29
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2014


  • Legitimacy
  • Social Work
  • Institutional theory
  • Bureaucracy
  • Morality
  • child replacement
  • Biopower
  • welfare state
  • Hannah Arendt