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Who is (rendered) responsible?

On November 4th and 5th 2015, the Graduate School of the University of Humanistic Studies (Utrecht, The Netherlands) will present a conference on responsibilization and dependency in a changing welfare state. With keynotes by Prof. Dr. Hanne Marlene Dahl (Roskilde Universitat, Denmark) and Dr. Thomas Briebiecher (Goethe Universität, Germany).

In Western countries, including The Netherlands, the structure of the welfare state is changing rapidly. Social and health care policy is consequently aimed at transformation: from a welfare state which takes care of its citizens, to a state that encourages citizens to ‘participate’ and actively take care of each other. Citizens ought to take responsibility for their own lives and support each other, instead of ‘passively’ consume services. Several sociologists have framed this development as the ‘responsibilitization’ of our society. 

Although these responsibilities have not yet been clearly defined, nor who is responsible for what, it is clear that social networks will become increasingly important, as citizens are called upon to take care of each other. In contrast to the postwar Welfare state, where new social services were seen as a pathway to freedom and independence from family, now dependency and support from others are viewed as the ‘new ideals’.

However, this can be highly problematic, because it is assumed that everyone is part of a social support network, and capable of supporting others. Or people might not be familiar articulating their expectations and needs, ultimately leading to tensions between the trend of responsibilization policies and everyday dependency. During this conference, we will mutually explore these tensions, the pitfalls and promises of responsibilization and new dependencies propelled by government policies.

Prof. Dr. Hanne Marlene Dahl (Roskilde Universitat, Denmark) and Dr. Thomas Briebiecher (Goethe Universität, Germany), two internationally renowned scholars, will host a keynote lecture and also present their views during plenary presentations and during master classes. 

The two day conference takes place in the city centre of Utrecht that is characterized by late medieval and many 18th and 19th century buildings. Conference location is the Universiteit voor Humanistiek.

The costs of the two-day conference will be € 120,00 (including coffee, tea and lunch). 

For more information, see

Contactpersoon Kim Schmeink
Locatie Kromme Nieuwegracht 29, 3512 HD Utrecht
Periode van 4-11-2015 t/m 5-11-2015
Openingstijden 9.30 - 18.00 uur
Toegankelijkheid mensen met een beperking Ja
Toegangsprijzen €120,- Two day conference ticket (including lunch, coffee and tea)