The Digitisation of Welfare: a Strategy towards improving Citizens’ Self-care and Co-management of Welfare

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Technologies of measurement and self-monitoring of health data have become part of a metric everyday life in Denmark. As part of a change in Nordic Welfare society, Danish citizens are increasingly experiencing a digitisation of welfare services. This chapter explores the rationales behind the eGovernment strategy of Digital Welfare 2016-2020 in regard to health and discusses how this strategy encourages self-measurement and self-improvement through discourses of improvement at both state and citizen levels. By illustrating how performativity is embedded in current conceptions of health, this chapter emphasises how strategies of digitisation lean on a bio-citizenship where individuals with poor health capacities become dependent, not on a supporting welfare system, but paradoxically on their own self-management skills in order to receive health services. Based on the sociology of knowledge approach to discourse (SKAD) analysis, this chapter scrutinises central documents on the strategy of digital welfare. Our exploration provides a critical insight into the current digitisation of health care by illustrating how new virtues of citizenship are demanded in the digital era in relation to digital health, and furthermore represents a current challenge for Danish welfare in the schism between technology as empowering and a technocratic form of governance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMetric Culture: Ontologies of Self-Tracking Practices
EditorsBtihaj Ajana
Number of pages19
Place of PublicationBingley U.K.
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)978-1-78743-290-1
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78743-948-1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Digitisation
  • Bio-citizenship
  • Performative health
  • self-care
  • eGovernance
  • nordic welfare model

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