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Personal profile

Research areas

I am a historian of the Danish welfare state who has dealt extensively with the family in the 20th century. My primary areas of expertise are the political and social history of the twentieth century welfare state and its relationship to gender and the family, with special attention to the placements of children. 

Current project: Nordic family policies in the neo-liberalized era, c. 1960-2000s. I'm part of the collective research project on "Neoliberalism in the Nordics - Developing an Absent Theme": https://nyliberalisminorden.se 

Previous project: In my dissertation, I explored out-of-home placements in Denmark from 1905-75. 

For seventy years, from 1905 to 1975, a municipally established institution known as Children’s Welfare Boards (CWBs) (værgeråd/later børneværn), had the responsibility for supervising and monitoring vulnerable families, issuing warnings to parents and ultimately removing children from their home with or without the parents’ consent. The CWBs acted as interpreters, mediators and implementers of state policy at the street level while also functioning as the direct link between government and citizens. By focusing on administrative practices, I demonstrate that changes in child welfare policy did not necessarily derive from the introduction of new legislation or instructions from official handbooks. Instead, change happened in a much more gradual and pragmatic way in the local-level practices of the increasingly decentralized structure of the child welfare system. The local CWBs, I argue, comprised fragmented and informal decision-making processes. These empirical findings suggest a conflictual relationship between those responsible for state policies and local CWBs’ discretionary practices. The dissertation has been published as a monograph (Syddansk Universitetsforlag, 2021).


Research areas

  • Denmark and Scandinavia
  • Family Policy
  • Family History
  • Welfare States
  • Out-of-home placements
  • Social Work
  • Gender
  • Neoliberalism


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