Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism Bergen

Legitimacy Challenges

NEW PROJECTS: The Centre has received funding to conduct a groundbreaking study of legitimacy challenges for democratic governments and the welfare state.

The Research Council of Norway recently revealed the grant announcement for 2019. Three projects coordinated by the Centre will be funded.

One of them is a major international project looking at legitimacy challenges, to be led by professor Marit Skivenes. The project will conduct an analysis of mistrust in core institutions and the normative foundation of the welfare state in several European countries.

– We have seen demonstrations across the world against the Norwegian child protection system. Our hypothesis is that this mobilization is but one piece of a larger picture of mistrust in governments and politicians. We see similar mobilizations against social rights taking place in several European countries on issues like abortion, gender equality and LGBT-rights, says Skivenes.

Professor Siri Gloppen, Director of the Centre on Law and Social Transformation.

Professor Marit Skivenes, Director of the Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism

Sustaining legitimacy

The new project aims to reveal conditions and mechanisms for sustaining legitimacy in societies in which there is a backlash against social and political rights developments. It will focus on the discourse around children´s rights and family values, and examine the citizens’ views on these topics.

In addition to Marit Skivenes, prof. Siri Gloppen at the Lawtransform-centre will be a member of the core research group. They will collaborate with Asgeir Falch-Eriksen (OsloMet), Elaine Sutherland (University of Stirling) and Neil Datta (The European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights). It is planned that the project will include two PhD-fellows and one post-doctoral fellow.

Additional funding

The Centre was also granted funding for additional activities in conjunction with the ongoing ERC-funded Discretion-project. These activities will strengthen the dissemination of results to a Norwegian audience, and give Norwegian researchers an opportunity to connect with the project.

Another project that has been funded is a study of children’s participation in child protection cases, in collaboration with the County Boards for Social Welfare in Norway. The aim is to map obstacles and opportunities for better involvement of children.


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