Active social citizenship: The case of disabled people's rights to personal assistance

Karen Christensen*, Ingrid Guldvik, Monica Larsson

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Personal assistance is a welfare scheme that aims at increasing disabled peoples’
independence and empowerment. Since the historical beginnings of this scheme,
rights have played a crucial role, but are rarely analysed per se. This article
presents a social scientific analysis of personal assistance legislation in the
Scandinavian countries. Based on a theoretical framework focusing on variations
of the concept ‘active citizenship’, it discusses the complex balance between the
strength of rights and activation requirements, whether explicitly or implicitly
expressed in the legislation. This article concludes that Sweden combines a strong right with implicit requirements, while Denmark and particularly Norway
combine a weak right to personal assistance with rather explicit requirements
that must be met in order to be eligible for the services. This article is a
contribution to the discussion, originally introduced by T.H. Marshall, on how to
strengthen peoples’ ‘membership of society’ through social rights.
TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Disability Research
Udgave nummerS1
Sider (fra-til)19-33
StatusUdgivet - 2014
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Personal assistance
  • Citizenship
  • Social rights

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