Welfare states facing the challenge: Nordic municipalities learning from each other
In the Nordic countries, municipalities play a key role in providing citizens and society with high quality welfare state services. Municipalities are also responsible for solving a broad range of collective problems through planning. In recent years, globalization, unfavorable trends in terms of mobility, education and demography, as well as more recently new restrictions on financing of public services following the events of 2008 has created problems, in particular for small and peripherally located municipalities. Across the Nordic countries, small municipalities are experimenting with widely different solutions to meet these challenges. This situation turns transnational learning into a particularly promising strategy.
The activity is coordinated by Professor Ulf Wiberg, Umeå University. Two doctoral students in Umeå and Nordland respectively will be employed.
Two main comparative studies are undertaken:
1. The relation between the state and the municipality in developing a sustainable societal infrastructure. Responsible Professor Ulf Wiberg, Umeå.
2. Conditions, possibilities and limitations in inter-municipal cooperation. Responsible Professor Asbjörn Röiseland, University of Nordland, Bodö.