|Name||261E19 Danish Politics and Welfare in Comparative Perspective|
|Department||Institut for Statskundskab|
|Teacher||Asbjørn Skjæveland and Jens Peter Frølund Thomsen|
|Course catalogue id||94252|
Description of qualifications:
<p><span lang="EN-US" style="color: #212121;">This course aims at introducing international students to the key features of Danish politics and the policy style in Denmark. The course addresses the following themes: the Danish constitution, the party system, the structure of central and local government and the public sector, the role of interest organisations, political elites, Danish EU politics and the development of the Danish welfare state from a theoretical, historical and contemporary perspective.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US" style="color: #212121;">These themes have been selected for discussion because they reflect the core institutions of Danish politics and the Scandinavian policy style. Further, the themes are ideal for wider European comparisons where the students provide input from their own countries.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US" style="color: #212121;">The way in which Danish political institutions and policies are designed also has a broader theoretical interest. Denmark can, as Norway and Sweden, be seen as a particular example of what has been called ‘consensus democracy' and in this context, various forms of parliamentarism are compared and it is discussed to what extent minority government is ineffective. Denmark is also characterised by a comparatively large public sector where local governments are responsible for 70 per cent of public consumption spending. Furthermore, the Danish example illustrates how corporatist decision making can be applied to control the overall expenditure level despite central government's limited formal powers over local government. Finally, the Danish welfare state offers a good starting point for comparisons with other welfare states. The Danish welfare state offers universal social rights irrespective of contributions whereas Continental welfare states make contributions a precondition for social rights. Like elsewhere, globalisation and demographic changes have put pressure on the universal Danish welfare state. The course examines how reforms have tried to adjust the welfare state so that it can meet these challenges.</span></p>
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