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Nordic Centre of Excellence: Reassessing the Nordic Welfare Model (REASSESS)

Nordic Centre of Excellence: Reassessing the Nordic Welfare Model – a virtual research centre funded by NordForsk

Reassess header

Over a period of five years starting in March 2007, distinguished researchers from all the Nordic countries worked together in ten research strands with the aim to investigate and critically discuss whether the Nordic Welfare Model has the ability to renew itself under changing external conditions.

The main goal of the centre

The main aim of REASSESS was to investigate and critically discuss whether the Nordic welfare model has had the ability to renew itself under changing external conditions (European integration, greater mobility across national borders, globalisation, etc.) and internal conditions (ageing populations, changeable patterns of parenting and partnering, individualisation, etc.).

Ten research strands

The project researchers asked whether the behaviour of the Nordic welfare states corresponded to the idea of a distinct Nordic welfare model, or whether they in practice were moving away from this idea. Ten thematic groups highlighted this overarching question by analysing trends and trajectories in areas like ageing and the social organisation of care, changes in family, gender and inter-generational relationships, economic security in old age, migration as a challenge for redistributive welfare states, social exclusion and inclusion, e.g. as exemplified by the situation of people with disabilities, new and old forms of governance in the activation of people without work, competitiveness and social equality, drivers of change in the Nordic welfare states, and the impact of such change on the economic and social well-being of citizens in the Nordic countries.



The key activities and instruments in the centre´s work were the compilation, coordination and joint analysis of available data in the Nordic countries, steps to stimulate Nordic researchers´ motivation and skills in analysing such data, e.g. survey- and register-based longitudinal data, workshops, seminars and larger research conferences, PhD, post-doc and guest researchers fellowships, doctoral training, extensive international publishing and dissemination, and the preparation of joint applications for research grants, e.g. from the EU framework programmes.


The centre was funded by NordForsk, a Nordic research board operating under the Nordic Council of Ministers for Education and Research. Four national research councils have financed NorForsk´s funding of the Nordic Centres of Excellence in Research: The Academy of Finland, The Swedish Research Council, Rannis - The Icelandic Centre for Research, and The Research Council of Norway.


Updated list of publications (February 2015).

Positive evaluation of the Nordic Centres of Excellence on Welfare Research

In 2014 NordForsk published a report which evaluated the two Nordic Centres of Excellence - REASSESS and NordWel – both set up in 2007 as part of a joint Nordic welfare research programme. NordForsk's evaluation of REASSESS and NordWel covers the period from their start to their final activities in 2013. The overall purpose of the evaluation of the Nordic Centres of Excellence was to analyse the added value achieved based on the original objectives of the programmes.

One of the main conclusions is that "the NCoEs have been relatively successful in achieving the objectives of the programmes. It has been a novel experience for all the actors involved - the participants in the NCoEs as well as for NordForsk with its governing and advisory bodies. Given that the programmes have been quite successful there are good reasons to carry on with this type of funding as part of the larger mix".


Leader of Reassess: Bjørn Hvinden
Head of Research (NOVA)
Phone: +47 46 41 82 06, E-mail: bjorn.hvinden(a)nova.hioa.no

Deputy Leader: Viggo Nordvik
Senior Researcher (NOVA)
Phone: +47 98 46 21 03, E-mail: viggo.nordvik(a)nova.hioa.no

Co-ordinator: Mi Ah Schøyen
Senior Researcher (NOVA)
Phone: +47 92 08 27 54, E-mail: miah.schoyen(a)nova.hioa.no

Strand leaders and researchers

Professor Jørgen Goul Andersen
Aarhus University

Professor Anneli Anttonen
Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Tampere

Professor Guðný Björk Eydal
University of Iceland

Professor Gunhild Hagestad
Norwegian Social Research (NOVA)

Professor Ivar Lødemel
Oslo University College

Professor Stefán Ólafsson
University of Iceland

Senior researcher Mai Heide Ottosen
SFI - The Danish National Centre for Social Research

Senior Researcher Axel West Pedersen
Institute for Social Research (ISF) and Norwegian Social Research (NOVA)

Professor Veli-Matti Ritakallio
Turku Centre for Welfare Research, University of Turku

Professor Marta Szebehely
Stockholm University

Professor Jan Tøssebro
Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Professor Eskil Wadensjö
Stockholm University

English version


Sammenliknende velferdspolitikk


Start: 01.03.2007

Slutt: 31.12.2013