Department of Comparative Politics

Nordic welfare research presented in Cape Town

Professor Emeritus Stein Kuhnle is known for sharing his research on the welfare state internationally. His last stop was in South Africa, where a collaboration has led to the creation of SANORD - the South African Nordic Centre.

Kuhnle og Tabscott
Professor Emeritus Stein Kuhnle, with Chris Tapscott from University of the Western Cape (UWC).
Maria Sollohub

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Professor Emeritus Stein Kuhnle from the Department of Comparative Politics was in South Africa last week to give an honorary lecture for Professor Chris Tapscott, on the occasion of his transition to Professor Emeritus. Over a period of 20 years, Professor Tabscott has promoted a long lasting collaboration with academics, students, university leaders and university administrations from the Nordic countries. The collaboration has been especially rewarding wih UiB, through a common research program, publications and the graduation of several PhD candidates.

This collaboration also led to the establishment of SANORD - South African Nordic Centre in 2007, which has its secretariat at The University of the Western Cape (UWC). The centre today has 45 university members from South Africa and the Nordic countries. Kuhnle’s lecture was part of the workshop "Perspectives on the Democratic Developmental State" at The University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, which took place on February 26th and 28th. The organizers of the workshop were CROP (Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (UiB), UiB, SANORD, UNESCO and UWC.

Kuhnle was invited to talk about the Nordic development model and the Nordic welfare states, a theme which has caught the interest of South African academics. Kuhnle went through the historical lines and presented the most important characteristics of the Nordic model, and discussed its current challenges. Kuhnle is internationally recognized for his research on the welfare state, and his books have been translated to a number of languages. Over the past few years his research has been particularly focused on China, but he is among other Professor Emeritus at the Department of Comparative Politics, UiB, Professor Emeritus at Hertie School of Governance and Honorary Professor at The Centre for Welfare State Research at The University of Southern Denmark og at Fudan University in Shanghai.