Table of Contents

Juridification and Social Citizenship in the Welfare State

Juridification and Social Citizenship in the Welfare State

Edited by Henriette Sinding Aasen, Siri Gloppen, Anne-Mette Magnussen and Even Nilssen

The concept of juridification refers to a diverse set of processes involving shifts towards more detailed legal regulation, regulations of new areas, and conflicts and problems increasingly being framed in legal and rights-oriented terms. This timely book questions the impact international and national regulations have upon vulnerable groups (the unemployed, patients, prisoners, immigrants, and others) in terms of inclusion, exclusion and social citizenship. Focusing on European welfare states, as well as lessons from Latin America, it considers the implementation of the right to health and the role of international courts. This book brings empirical analysis and multidisciplinary, comparative perspectives to the previously fragmented and largely theoretical debate on juridification in the welfare state.

Chapter 13: Rethinking social citizenship: the case of the Finnmark Act

Hugo Stokke

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, law and society, politics and public policy, european politics and policy, social policy and sociology, welfare states


How can the Finnmark Act make us rethink the idea of social citizenship? What does it mean that social citizenship is juridified? I discuss these questions and consider the standard view of citizenship expounded by Marshall (1976) and others. This model depicts a process from the rule of law and civil liberties through political rights to economic and social rights with universal access to goods and services, and is intended to prevent discrimination in access and distribution. However, this model has been criticized for its view of society as a homogeneous entity. Advocates of multiculturalism depict a heterogeneous society populated by a multitude of groups that differ in culture and sense of belonging. While the classic model tended to represent differences primarily as divergent class interests, multiculturalism emphasizes religion, culture, identity and the importance of history and tradition. There are other models, associated with libertarianism and cosmopolitanism, that place less emphasis on the importance of borders and state regulations, but because I discuss legal regulations within defined state borders, I shall leave these aside. First, I discuss what social citizenship is and what juridification adds to the understanding of social citizenship. This discussion is in light of the specific case that I examine, the Finnmark Act, covering the northernmost and largest county in Norway. The important question is why social citizenship has been juridified and the implications of these legal processes for the exercise of social citizenship by the residents of this specific territory.

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