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One uniform welfare state or a multitude of welfare municipalities? The evolution of local variation in Swedish elder care
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. (Äldreforskargruppen)
Aging Research Center (ARC), Karolinska institutet.
2010 (English)In: Social Policy & Administration, ISSN 0144-5596, E-ISSN 1467-9515, Vol. 44, no 4, 495-511 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Nordic welfare states, including Sweden, have an inbuilt dilemma between two mainprinciples: universalism and local autonomy. The concept of ‘welfare municipalities’ has been usedto characterize the social policy construction of independent local authorities implementing nationalwelfare policies. The aim of the article is to study the evolution of the balance between universal,centralized versus local, decentralized principles in Swedish welfare services, using elder care as acase. The article follows up previous studies on the extensive diversity and the local path dependencyin the distribution of elder-care services in Sweden. A predominant impression from the presentexploration is that the pattern has changed in many aspects during the first decade of the newmillennium, and in a complex way. The coverage of home help and residential care has become lessgenerous, a sign of weaker universalism. On the other hand, the decentralization tendencies havedecreased, the earlier reported geographical disparity appears to have been reduced and the municipalitiesare increasingly adjusting to the national average. Also, the earlier strong local pathdependency has faded out and therefore the concepts ‘welfare municipality’ and ‘local social policy’appear to be less accurate than heretofore when describing the Swedish model of elder care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Birmingham, UK: Wiley-Blackwell , 2010. Vol. 44, no 4, 495-511 p.
Keyword [en]
eldercare; universalism; centralization/decentralization; Local variation; welfare municipalities
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-47057DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9515.2010.00725.xOAI: diva2:372888
Transformation of care: living the consequences of changing public policiesAging and diversity: living conditions and health in Sweden's elderly population
De forskningsämnen som berörs av artikeln är 'Socialt arbete med inriktning på äldre människor' alt. 'Gerontologiskt socialt arbete' samt 'Socialpolitik'. Inget av dessa går att finna i listan över ämneskategori eller forskningsämne, varför jag valt 'Socialt arbete' i båda fälten. Available from: 2010-11-29 Created: 2010-11-29 Last updated: 2010-12-13Bibliographically approved

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Trydegård, Gun-Britt
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