Personal profile

Research areas

Welfare state history with special focus on Denmark and the Nordic countries. This include general studies of welfare state development as well as more specialized studies on pension policy, early retirement schemes (Efterløn), family policy and the immigration policies of the Danish welfare state. More recently, my focus has been on transnational perspectives on the Danish welfare state. This include studies on Nordic cooperation on social policy and American influences on Danish social science .

I have also worked on topics such as labor history (especially the History of the Danish Social Democracy), the cold war in Denmark (the struggle between Communists and Social Democrats), americanization in Denmark post 1945. The latter within the project "Americanization processes in Denmark":

Finally, I have an interest in Danish Modern furnitures and has written several coffee table books on this in close cooperation with my colleague professor Per H. Hansen (Copenhagen Business School).

Research information

Professor Klaus Petersen, Department of History, University of Southern Denmark is the director of Danish Centre for Welfare Studies ( His research has focused on the historical development of welfare state with special emphasis on Denmark and on the Nordic model. He has published widely on topics such family policy, old age pension, parties and the politics of the welfare state, Nordic social political cooperation, methods in welfare state studies, social policy language (and concepts) and on immigration and the welfare state. 


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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