Health Promotion in Denmark: from Critical Potential to Individualisation and Marginalisation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Health promotion has been a part of the policies, strategies and services of the Nordic welfare states since the beginning of the millennium. This article contributes to analyses of health promotion in political programs, institutions and practices in Denmark in later years, and holds a special interest in how inequality in health is addressed. In the Nordic countries, universalism has been a key tenet of welfare services, with great potential of guiding health promotion towards more equality in health. However, a neoliberal development over the last two decades has influenced the field of health and also the ideas, conceptions and strategies of health promotion. This article looks into how health promotion has taken form in Denmark, through conflicts of interest in health policies, and changes in central health promotion programs, that turn away from earlier universalistic and social political framing of health prevention and promotion. Health promotion in Denmark has been marked by years of conflicts and the interest in influencing the psychosocial environment of health to gain more equality in health has weakened.
Translated title of the contributionSundhedsfremme i Danmark: Fra kritisk potentiale til individualisering og marginalisering
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocialmedicinsk Tidskrift
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)417-432
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

Cite this