Contact person:
Erica Righard
  • NordForsk (project no 135306)
Responsible at MaU:
Erica Righard
External project members:
  • The project is coordinated by Mari Toivanen (Helsinki University) together with Erica Righard (Malmö University) Synnøve Bendixsen (University of Bergen) and Unnur Dis Skaptadottir (University of Iceland)
Time frame:
01 January 2023 - 31 December 2024

About the project

The relationship between mobilities, work, and Nordic welfare systems is rapidly changing in the post-COVID-19 context. Toppled with digitalisation, remote work has become more common. The increase in location-independent work is leading to new types of privileged mobilities, whereas the limitations in the right to work and move continue to depend on the citizenship status of others. However, the existing welfare system is largely constructed on the assumption of worker-citizens’ immobility, permanent residence status, and physical location of work within such states where one holds citizenship or legal residence. Indeed, there is a growing discrepancy between the state-structured welfare systems and the emerging realities concerning work and mobilities. This makes the existing inequalities concerning work, mobility rights, and welfare provisions more tangible and can lead to the creation of new ones.

The three exploratory workshops focus on how new and old forms of mobilities shape work and (welfare) citizenship in Nordic societies, and how mobilities are shaped by them. More specifically, the workshops critically examine the discrepancy between the nation-state structured welfare systems and the emerging realities concerning work and mobilities. We aim to 1) examine the normative assumptions based on the nation-state logic in the organisation of welfare systems, work, and mobilities, 2) shed light on the existing inequalities and the production of new ones concerning (welfare) citizenship, and 3) offer a more inclusive understanding of welfare citizenship sensitive to current transformations concerning work and mobilities.

Three workshops, organised in person in Reykjavik (2023), Malmö (2023), and Helsinki (2024) aim to examine

  1. the changing nature of work, mobilities, and welfare citizenship,
  2. inequalities and exclusion concerning work, mobilities, and nation-state granted rights, and
  3. the future of welfare citizenship and its inclusionary aspects in Nordic welfare societies.

The workshops bring together scholars from migration/mobilities studies and labour studies, and more broadly across Social Sciences and Humanities. There is a strong emphasis on doctoral training and collaboration with non-academic stakeholders working on mobilities, migration, labour markets, welfare systems, and inequalities across Nordic countries. No such network focusing on the relationship between mobilities, work, and the Nordic welfare system exists to this date.