Civilsamfundet som ansvarlige medborgere: En iagttagelse af frivilliges inddragelse i løsningen af velfærdsopgaver

Line Steenberg

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis addresses the topic of civil society engaging in volunteer work in cooperation with the Danish municipalities. The epistemology is an overall interest in the construction of this cooperation. Specifically, I intend to look into the cognate between the concepts of civil society and volunteers that is articulated today. Therefore, the thesis set out to investigate how volunteers are constructed as objects of power and what constitutive impact this may have on the governing of volunteers’ role as provider of welfare services. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s conceptual framework of discourse and governmentality, the power relations and the creation of subjects are therefore observed. By looking at different conceptions of civil society, it is observed how the volunteers are discursively constructed through statements articulated by the former Danish government, The Danish Ministry of Social Affairs, Lejre municipality and other relevant players. As a result, certain subject positions are expressed. Secondly, the rationalities of government are studied by analysing how the Danish municipalities create a responsible civil society trough volunteer work. Based on Foucault’s model of power, the intention is to discuss how different technologies subject the volunteers as democratic citizens and how they are responsible of cooperating with the municipalities on welfare services. Technologies such as dialogue is then used to exercise disciplinary and pastoral power, which is observed as a form of governing that links the individual to the state through an obligation to preserve the well-being of the citizens. I conclude that volunteers to a great extent use the technologies of empowerment and dialogued as tools of self governing in their cooperation with Lejre municipality. In other words, Lejre municipality installs a form of governing that has an impact on how the volunteers are directed towards filling a role as caretaker of social services.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages120