Rescuing Welfare Society: Political Strategies for Mobilizing Civil Society in Denmark, 2010–2018

Mathias Hein Jessen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

142 Downloads (Pure)


The article analyzes how civil society is constructed in two Danish civil society strategies from 2010 to 2017, the governmental programmes of the governments in question and the role civil society plays in the proposed upcoming reform of the Danish public sector, the Cohesion Reform. The article approaches civil society from a Foucauldian perspective meaning that it on the one hand analyzes civil society as a transactional reality, something which does not exist as such, but must be continually produced as a given thing with certain values. On the other hand, it means analyzing civil society as a central part of a governmental rationality, or governmentality, which represents the natural movements of society and which government must respect and govern according to. This means that the natural, vital and originary processes of civil society becomes a measurement for good and right government in contradistinction to the artificial, cold and bureaucratic state and thereby posited as the rescuer of welfare society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)369–380
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Published online 05 November 2018


  • Austerity
  • Civil society
  • Foucault
  • Governmentality
  • Voluntary organizations
  • Welfare retrenchment

Cite this