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Marketisation of Nordic Eldercare – Is the Model Still Universal?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5522-5344
2016 (English)In: Journal of Social Policy, ISSN 0047-2794, E-ISSN 1469-7823Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The objective of this article is to analyse whether the increased reliance on marketisation in the provision of social care challenges the universality of eldercare in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. The study focuses on national reforms for contracting out and user choice of provider, analysing their consequences for four universalistic dimensions: (i) equal inclusion, (ii) public funding, (iii) public provision and (iv) comprehensive usage. The findings suggest that, although need-based inclusion and public funding remain key principles in all four countries, there is an increased reliance on private provision in Sweden, Denmark and Finland. In addition, the introduction of topping-up services challenges the dimension of comprehensive usage by enabling users with economic resources to turn to the private market to increase the comprehensiveness and quality of their care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keyword [en]
Universalism, Marketization, Welfare state, Nordic countries, Social Policy, Eldercare
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-317314DOI: 10.1017/S0047279416000830OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-317314DiVA: diva2:1081555
Available from: 2017-03-14 Created: 2017-03-14 Last updated: 2017-04-05
In thesis
1. Marketization in Swedish Eldercare: Implications for Users, Professionals, and the State
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Marketization in Swedish Eldercare: Implications for Users, Professionals, and the State
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

During the last decades, Swedish policy makers have implemented various marketization reforms into the public welfare sector in order to make it more cost-efficient and to improve its quality. The aim of this dissertation is to investigate what implications this marketization trend has had for the organization of Swedish eldercare. In particular, the research question addressed is how marketization reforms such as privatized provision, increased competition, and user choice have transformed the relationship between the service users, the professionals, and the state. To answer the research question, four articles are presented in the dissertation, each corresponding to a separate empirical investigation. Together, the articles demonstrate that the increased reliance on marketization in Swedish eldercare has made it more difficult for the local authorities to directly control the quality of the services, since it reduces their ability to allocate public resources and expects them to govern the provision of eldercare through the entering of contracts. This development has also implied that service users themselves become increasingly responsible for ensuring that the quality of their care is high. Moreover, the articles show that the increased reliance on audit by the national government and its agencies has tended to undermine the professionalization of eldercare staff, thereby limiting their autonomy and ability to ensure service quality. As a whole, the dissertation contributes with a more comprehensive understanding of how marketization has altered the organization of Swedish eldercare and under what conditions it might undermine the goals of social equality and ensuring that all citizens have equal access to good quality care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 48 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 142
Keyword
Marketization, Eldercare, Universalism, Social care, Privatized provision, User choice, Competition, Swedish welfare state
National Category
Political Science Public Administration Studies
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-319504 (URN)978-91-554-9886-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-06-02, Brusewitzsalen, Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Gamla Torget 6, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-05-10 Created: 2017-04-05 Last updated: 2017-05-29

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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