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Balancing welfare and market logics: Procurement regulations for social and health services in four Nordic welfare states
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8392-4206
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1757-9974
2019 (English)In: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN 1455-0725, E-ISSN 1458-6126, p. 1-26Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Aim: In increasingly market-oriented welfare regimes, public procurement is one of the most important instruments of influencing who produces which services. This article analyses recent procurement regulations in four Nordic countries from the point of view of addiction treatment. The implementation of public procurement in this field can be viewed as a domain struggle between the market logic and the welfare logic. By comparing the revision of the regulations after the 2014 EU directives in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, we identify factors affecting the protection of a welfare logic in procurement. We discuss the possible effects of different procurement regulations for population welfare and health. Data and theoretical perspective: The study is based on the recently revised procurement laws in the four countries, and adherent guidelines. The analysis is inspired by institutional logics, looking at patterns of practices, interests, actors, and procurement as rules for practices. Results: Procurement regulations are today markedly different in the four countries. The protection of welfare and public health aspects in procurement – strongest in Norway – is not solely dependent on party political support. Existing service providers and established steering practices play a crucial role.  Conclusion: In a situation where market steering has become an established practice and private providers are strongly present, it can be difficult to introduce strong requirements for protection of welfare and population health in procurement of social services.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. p. 1-26
Keywords [en]
addiction treatment, marketisation, Nordic welfare, public health, public procurement, service provision, user involvement
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-173272DOI: 10.1177/1455072519886094OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-173272DiVA, id: diva2:1352231
Projects
Fördelar, spänningar och motsägelsefulla incitament i välfärdssystemet: New Public Management i svensk missbruks- och beroendevård (P14-0985:1)
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P14-0985:1
Note

First Published December 26, 2019

Fulltext: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1455072519886094

Available from: 2019-09-18 Created: 2019-09-18 Last updated: 2020-01-08

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Stenius, KerstinStorbjörk, Jessica
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