RACE/ETHNICITY AND WELFARE STATES IN THE U.S, EUROPE AND THE NORDIC COUNTRIES
1-3 October 2009 at University of Southern Denmark in Odense
A conference organized for NCoE NordWel by:
Professor Sonya Michel (University of Maryland, College Park)
Professor Klaus Petersen (University of Southern Denmark)
Professor Pauli Kettunen (University of Helsinki)
In the 1940s the Swedish economist and social engineer Gunnar Myrdal went to the U.S. to study racial conflicts in that country. The result was the influential book An American Dilemma, published in 1944, which has had significant impact on thinking about race in the U.S. and beyond. More than sixty years later, much has been turned upside down, and now the Nordic and European welfare states, confronted with ethnic heterogeneity and multiculturalism, often look toward the American “melting pot” for guidance on how to combine national welfare states with immigration and globalism.
Taking its point of departure from the current academic debates on race/ethnicity and welfare policies, this conference aims to go beyond stereotypes of welfare state models and immigration regimes in order to compare critically Nordic, European and American experiences at significant moments in history.
The conference will bring together a group of U.S.,Nordic and European scholars to engage in a cross-national as well as chronological comparison of one the most complex and controversial aspects of modern welfare states: the question of “us” and “them” in relation to the development of social rights and welfare institutions. By facilitating a cross-cultural conversation, we also hope to cross the border between two very different welfare state narratives: the “idealistic” history of the Nordic and European model of welfare, and the more conflict-orientated history of the American welfare state. The organizers plan to publish the papers presented in an edited volume after the conference.
In relationship to the conference will be organized a research workshop for PhD-students who are working on these questions across disciplines. This will be organized by Research School for Welfare and Diversity and take place at Roskilde University Centre.
The conference is financed by NCoE NordWel (http://blogs.helsinki.fi/nord-wel/)
Department of Political Science and Public Management
University of Southern Denmark
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