Du er fri, vælg så! En analyse af statens magtudøvelse i relation til erhvervsdrivende fonde

Stine Mench Mølbak & Anders Røddik Ebdrup

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis illuminates how the Danish state exercises power towards business foundations (BF) and how this is done by defining the contextual space for rational actions by the BF’s. The conclusions of this thesis are based on an analytical strategy underpinned by an institutional history consisting of a diachronic analysis and a synchronic analysis. The diachronic analysis unfolds how a context for rational action for BF’s is institutionalised through historical changes in discourses attempting to realise ideals about BF’s. This is demonstrated by analysing how expectations towards the context for BF’s rational actions are institutionalised over time, from 1954 to 2013, and that these institutionalised expectations can be understood as consisting of three diachronic sections that form the expectations to the BF’s organisation, management and the role in society. The institutions are based primarily on legal sanctions; however, social sanctions also contribute to define a specific space for the BF’s rational actions. Thereby the diachronic analysis is a story of constitution. By applying the Foucauldian analytical concepts of state of domination and governmentality, the synchronic analysis demonstrates how an explicit and a more tacit power relation altogether sets BF’s as a specific kind of organisation. Explicitly, the BF’s can seemingly act autonomously; they are however, stripped of autonomy in relation to the requirement of reporting about their premises for decisions about what applicant’s to fund. Further BF’s are expected to mirror its actions to the expectations of their environment. Tacitly, the BF’s are embedded in self-technologies that give the BF’s the possibility of gaining status of ‘good fund management’ if acting according to expectations. The combination of the two forms of power constitutes the BF’s as political actors as they are expected to form parts of society by defining a political vision for their donations. By a donation policy and the context of rational actions, the state urge the BF’s to govern applicants by the same rationality that the state governs the BF’s. Thereby the synchronic analysis is a story of contemporaneity. In this sense, as a consequence of the state’s power ambitions, BF’s must be considered as actors being limited and free at the same time.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages118