An American Dilemma?
Globalization and Welfare series
Edited by Pauli Kettunen, Sonya Michel and Klaus Petersen
Chapter 5: Immigration and the Nordic welfare state: a tense companionship
Scandinavia represents a particular type of welfare state, characterized by institutionalized social rights, universal access, generous benefits, a high degree of public involvement and comparatively high levels of redistribution. Income security has been a fundamental pillar in this context, in the form of both social assistance and social insurance. The essentially tax-based system, which was designed to constitute a basic safety net for all citizens from cradle to grave, has been remarkably generous – and thereby also costly. It is thus vulnerable in relation to newcomers who cannot support themselves economically. Throughout Scandinavia, the welfare state initially served as the self-evident instrument for incorporating newcomers. Gradually, however, it has become controversial, in parallel with general processes of social reform, in which the restructuring of policies has been regarded as necessary in order to avoid creating dependency traps and ‘overconsumption’. This chapter spells out the historical background for the specific Scandinavian approach to immigration and discusses the current dilemmas attached to this normatively complicated policy field.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.