At the 23rd  Nordic Congress of Gerontology in Tampere, June 19-22, 2016, two symposia were organised by Normacare members Tine Rostgaard and Håkan Jönson, respectively, and several Normacare members presented  papers in these symposia and in other sessions. Abstracts are available by clicking on their respective names below.

Symposium: The market and the public – interests, reasoning and realities behind marketisation in elder care in the Nordic countries. Chair: Professor Tine Rostgaard, Aalborg University

1Stockholm University, Sweden, 2Macquarie University, Australia, Stockholm University, Sweden

Symposium: Profiled eldercare – person centred approach or branding? Chair: Professor Håkan Jönson, Lund University

1School of Social Work, Lund University, 2Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg

Other presentations:

1Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University,   Sweden, 2Department of Governance, Uppsala University, Sweden

1Department of Social work, Stockholm University, Sweden,2European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Austria, 3Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm University, Sweden, 4Stockholm Gerontology Research Center, Sweden

The seventh Normacare meeting took place at Stockholm University, November 19-20, 2015.  List of participants and papers.

External seminar:  ‘Consequences of marketization – Danish and international experiences’. Thursday December 4 2014, 9:30-11:30, Aalborg University, Copenhagen Campus

Slides of the presentations are available by clicking on their respective names below.

External seminar press release.

The sixth Normacare meeting will take place at the Copenhagen Campus of Aalborg University December 4-5, 2014. Programme and practicalities.

The fifth Normacare meeting was held in Oslo, Norway, on September 4-6, 2014, in conjunction with the 12th Annual ESPAnet Conference (the Network for European Social Policy Analysis). After an internal meeting focusing in future activities, several Normacare members presented papers in the conference stream Marketisation of Welfare and Care (see here for a list of authors and papers). One of the key note presenters of the ESPAnet conference was Marta Szebehely. Her talk was titled ‘Sustaining universalism? Changing roles for the state, family and market in Nordic eldercare’. Slides from the presentation are available here, and a video from the presentation here.

The sixth Normacare meeting will take place at the Copenhagen Campus of Aalborg University December 4-5, 2014, organised by Professor Tine Rostgaard, Aalborg University.

Normacare’s fourth meeting was held in Tampere, Finland, on 23-24 October 2013. The meeting was organised by members from the University of Tampere, and attended by twenty participants, several of whom were joining the network for the first time.

Participants began by discussing the findings of the new Normacare publication, Marketisation in Nordic eldercare: A research report on legislation, oversight, extent and consequences. Eleven papers by a total of seventeen authors were presented and discussed (see here for a list of titles, authors and discussants). An interactive workshop session was also held, to explore directions for future research collaboration by the Network’s members.

The meeting concluded with the opening plenary of the Finnish Social Policy Conference, the theme of which was ‘Marketisation of social policy – the changing boundaries between private and public’. Normcare convenors, Marta Szebehely and Gabrielle Meagher, each gave a keynote address to this plenary, presenting the findings of Normacare’s new report. (Slides of their presentations are available by clicking on their respective names above.)

The third meeting of the network was held on 12-13 February 2013 in Stockholm. At this meeting, members discussed their chapters for the report on marketisation in Nordic eldercare. There were also  two paper presentations by PhD students, one by Lina van Aerschot on care markets in Tampere and one by a new member, David Isaksson, (co-authored with Paula Blomqvist and Ulrika Winblad), on contracts in outsourced eldercare in Sweden.

In association with this meeting of the network, Normacare collaborated with the Nordic Council of Ministers to present a public seminar and hearing on marketisation in Nordic eldercare on the morning of Wednesday 13 February 2013.

At the seminar Normacare members presented the report: Marketisation in Nordic eldercare: A research report on legislation, oversight, extent and consequences.

Following the presentations, the report was discussed by the audience and an invited panel, which included:

          • Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson, President of Swedish LO (The Swedish Trade Union Confederation).
          • Henrik Borelius, CEO of Attendo.
          • Thomas Breen, member of the Norwegian parliament and Arbeiderpartiet’s spokesperson for health and care issues.
          • Margareta Kjellin, a member of the Swedish Parliament’s Committee on Health and Welfare.

A news story, which includes short video interviews with Normacare convenors, Marta Szebehely and Gabrielle Meagher, and with Attendo CEO, Henrik Borelius, can be found here.

The second Normacare workshop  took place in Oslo August 20-21, 2012. Thirty-five Nordic and Anglo-Saxon members of the network discussed work in progress, in particular a report on the state of marketization in eldercare in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden (the report is planned to be published at the end of 2012).

On August 21, Normacare organized an open seminar ‘Markets in care: Are there critical lessons for Nordic countries?’ The seminar attracted close to one hundred persons (see the program and powerpoints from the presentations by Charlene Harrington and Sue Himmelweit ).  See also an article in Norwegian and in English about the seminar (note that the seminar was not organized by REASSESS as stated in the article but instead by Normacare).

Markets in care: Are there critical lessons for Nordic countries?

10am-12pm August 21, 2012
before the opening of the REASSESS final conference
Quality Hotel 33, Oslo

Over the last two decades, there has been growing debate about the role of markets mechanisms and private providers in eldercare provision in the Nordic countries. Proponents have argued that private provision and competition will save public money and improve the quality of services, while critics are concerned that marketisation threatens the Nordic universal care model. In many other countries, in particular in liberal states, private provision and market mechanisms have long played a role in eldercare. What can Nordic countries learn from this much longer experience? In this seminar, leading academics from the UK, the US and Canada, with long experience of researching different dimensions of privatisation in eldercare, reflect on the challenges of maintaining quality – and equality – in care markets.


Sue Himmelweit, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK: A feminist economist’s perspective on theories of markets in care

Charlene Harrington, University of California, San Francisco, US: Quality differences in for-profit and not-for-profit nursing homes

Pat Armstrong, York University, Toronto, Canada: Privatisation, regulation and control

Printable flyer



The first meeting of Normacare was held on 30-31 January, 2012 in Stockholm. Thirty-three researchers from around the Nordic region came together to discuss the network’s research agenda and their own work-in-progress. You will find the workshop program here.

New publication: Network members Anneli Anttonen and Liisa Häikiö are two of the editors of a new book examining the principle of universalism and how it has been put into practice in various national contexts. Among the contributors are network members Jørgen Goul Andersen, Jorma Sipilä, Marta Szebehely and Mia Vabø. The book, Welfare State, Universalism And Diversity, will be available in may 2012.  Read more here.