Law, Democracy and Welfare

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Law, Democracy and Welfare

Law, Democracy and Welfare is one of the research groups at the Department of Administration and Organization Theory, and is a part of the Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism and the Centre on Law and Social Transformation.

Law, Democracy and Welfare focuses on the relationship between the state and its citizens, especially the exercise of state power and the justifications thereof. Key research themes include how governmental institutions and its decision makers functions in society; how law shapes societies and if and how rights and courts are tools for social change; and what affects the populations views on core institutions – national and supra-national- and their outputs. Other important research themes are decision makers use of discretion and paternalism, strategies of legitimacy and the normative fundament for the welfare state.

Our current projects collect data from all regions of the world, with an emphasis on Africa, the Americas and Europe.

Read more about our research focus

Research centre
Logo  for Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism

Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism

Research centre at the Department studying the relationship between the state and its citizens, with a particular focus on child protection and children's rights.
Iraqi children playing, used as part of an article about the opening of a new child care research centre at the University of Bergen (UiB).

Millions awarded to child welfare research

Professor Marit Skivenes has received 10 million Norwegian kroner from the Research Council of Norway for her research on child care. The new grant is part of her new research centre, which will bring together world-class researchers in the field of law, child protection and children's rights.

Professor Marit Skivenes at the University of Bergen, Norway

Innovative child welfare research leads to EU grant

Professor Marit Skivenes has been awarded the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant for the research project DISCRETION. She receives the grant to conduct ground-breaking research on discretionary decision-making in child protection systems.


Our group meetings take place on Thursdays from 14.15-15.45. 

Some of the meetings are organized as a collaboration between the Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism, the Centre on Law and Social Transformation and the research group "Law, Democracy and Welfare"Western Norway University College.


The Law, Democracy and Welfare Research Group hold responsibility for the Master's course AORG325: Discretion and Paternalism. The course is interdiciplinary, and open for students at the Faculties of Social Sciences, Psychology and Law. The course will not be held spring 2021.


Interested researchers and students can contact research group leader Prof. Marit Skivenes.