h o m e i d e a s p h. d   t r a i n i n g p e o p l e s e m i n a r s u m m e r e u r o p e a n  n e t w o r k  o n  i n e q u a l i t y n e w s
  H o m e




University of Aarhus, Denmark

:: Overview
:: Research
:: Practical information

Professors Nannestad, Blom Hansen and Sonne Norgaard, Dpt. of Political Science, University of Aarhus Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus
Campus of the University of Aarhus University of Aarhus campus


The Department of Political Science at the University of Aarhus is one of the largest political science departments in Europe. It employs about 40 faculty members and 20 doctoral candidates. The specializations offered by the department are general and comparative politics, public policy studies, sociology, public administration, international relations and organizations, and statistics and information technology.

The department’s research focuses on historical and comparative welfare state change and reform, the functioning of Scandinavian welfare state institutions, the integration of immigrants, and public attitudes towards immigrants. The department has strong links to the Department of Economics, which focuses on the interplay between the welfare state and the labor market, and the Center for Comparative Welfare Studies at the University of Aalborg, an hour’s drive from Aarhus. The Center for Comparative Welfare Studies specializes in attitudes towards the welfare state, issues of gender and the welfare state, and marginalization and the welfare state (Source: Professor Christoffer Green-Pedersen’s presentation on the department at the Harvard Inequality Summer Institute, June 19, 2004). The closest Sociology departments to Aarhus are at Aalborg University and the University of Copenhagen.


Research areas at a glance


Comparative and domestic institutional evolution

Jens Blom Hansen, Finn Bruun, Viola Burau, Jørgen Grønnegård Christensen, Eric Dammgaard, Carsten Daugbjerg, Ana Devic, Jørgen Elklit, Martin Enevoldsen, Christoffer Green-Pedersen, Knud Erik Jørgensen, Mette Kjaer, Tonny Brems Knudsen, Jørn Loftager, Søren Flinch Midtgaard, Jens Ladefoged Mortensen, Peter Nannestad, Vibeke Lehmann Nielsen, Asbjørn Sonne Nørgaard, Thomas Pallesen, Thomas Pedersen, Jens Peter Frølund Thomsen,


Simon Calmar Andersen, Jørgen Grønnegård Christensen, Peter Nannestad, Rune Stubager, Peter Jensen, Helene Skyt Nielsen,

Family structure

Peter Jensen, Michael Svarer, Mette Verner,

Historical evolution of inequality

Christoffer Green-Pedersen,


Peter Nannestad, Rune Stubager, Lise Togeby, Peter Jensen, Peder Pedersen, Michael Rossholm, Nina Smith, Mette Verner,

Labor market inequality

Jørn Loftager, Peter Nannestad, Asbjørn Sonne Nørgaard, Nils Chr. Sidenius, Michael Rossholm, Nina Smith,

Political and civic participation

Ole Borre, Eric Dammgaard, Jørgen Elklit, Gitte Sommer-Harrits, Thomas Olesen, Asbjørn Skæveland, Rune Stubager, Palle Svensson, Søren Risbjerg Thomsen,

Racial/ethnic disparities and race relations

Rune Stubager, Jens Peter Frølund Thomsen, Lise Togeby,

Urban poverty and spatial segregation

Researchers at the Political Science Department

Jens Blom-Hansen
Research areas: Macro-economic control in decentralized systems; institutional effects on public policy; intergovernmental relations, budgetary politics, public administration. Current research: coalition formation and behavior of local governments, local government interests, and impact of European Union on member states.

Ole Borre
Research areas
: Political sociology, especially electoral behavior; political attitudes, and public opinion; methods of interview surveys

Finn Bruun
Research areas: Changing roles of public employees in central government; professionalization and local interests; government and governance in metropolitan Copenhagen; bureaucracy and public personnel; history of Danish public administration; theory of organizations

Viola Burau
Research areas: Comparative health policy; policies and politics of home care; the governance of health professions; methods of cross-country comparison

Simon Calmar Andersen
Research areas: Political governance of primary and secondary schools: can quality of welfare be improved? What variables can municipalities change?

Largest lecture Hall at the University of Aarhus

Jørgen Grønnegård Christensen
Research areas: public administration; the welfare state; provision of education and healthcare in competing welfare models (market and public)

Erik Dammgaard
Research areas: parliaments in Western Europe; 
Nordic legislators and legislatures; development of the Danish Folketing; government coalitions and coalition theory; democracy and power in Denmark

Carsten Daugbjerg
Research areas: the politics of green taxes in Europe; state and organized interests in Denmark

Ana Devic
Research areas: western “democracy assistance” and local civil society in the post-violence regions of former Yugoslavia, ethno-nationalism and power(lessness); multiculturalism and cross-ethnicity

Jørgen Elklit
Research areas: electoral system development and change in Denmark in the 19th and 20th centuries; institutional design and democratization in emerging democracies; membership in Danish political parties; split voting in the Danish 2001 elections; voter turnout in the Danish local elections 2001

Martin Enevoldsen
Research areas: indirect regulation of industrial CO2 pollution; comparative analyses on the effectiveness of green taxes and voluntary environmental agreements; marked-based policies for stimulation of renewable energies

Christoffer Green-Pedersen
Research areas: agenda-setting, party competition and public policies in Western Europe; the historical development of the Danish pension system; Danish minority parliamentarism

View of University of Aarhus' campus

Gitte Sommer-Harrits
Research areas: Political Sociology; political participation differences by social class; Pierre Bourdieu's theory of practice and class theory

Gorm Harste
Research areas: reason and rationalization in the organizations of early modern Europe; Kant and modern sociology; the political theory of state building

Lars Johannsen
Research areas: state-capacity and administrative reforms in post-communist systems; institutions and democratization; presidencies in post-communist states

Knud Erik Jørgensen
Research areas
: The European Union's common foreign and security policy; international relations theory; European IR traditions

Mette Kjaer
Research areas: the state in development theory and comparative politics; political development in Africa and the Third World

Tonny Brems Knudsen
Research areas: humanitarian intervention and international society; the international society approach and the post-cold war order; European approaches to humanitarian intervention; the genocide in Bosnia

Carsten Bagge Laustsen
Research areas: refugee camps; rape as a weapon of war

Jørn Loftager
Research areas: social and political theory of industrialism and beyond; the rationality of the welfare state (together with Erik Oddvar Eriksen, LOS-senteret, Bergen); citizens' income in the light of Danish labor market policy; political leadership and deliberative democracy

Søren Flinch Midtgaard
Research areas: Rawlsian stability and institutions; egalitarianism

Jens Ladefoged Mortensen
Research areas: institutional efficiency and legitimacy of the World Trade Organization; transatlantic trade relations; the trade and environment debate; GMOs; biotech business and global trade liberalization; environmental aspects of the TRIPS agreement; the global leadership capacity of the EU

Nils Mortensen
Research areas: new structures and changing everyday life; integration and differentiation in work, institutions, and everyday life

Per Mouritsen
Research areas:  Republican conceptions of liberty and self-government: contemporary relevance of an ambiguous argument; the Meeting of Cultures as ‘reconstructive patriotism’ (SSF/SHF-project ending August 2003); the relation between patriotism and cosmopolitanism; Republican state discourse and multiculturalism (Australia, France, Italy, U.S., South Africa); political theory and history of political ideas as contested subfields of political science; comparison of political argument at the American Philadelphia convention and public debates on Europe’s constitutional future

Political Science Department, University of Aarhus

Mehdi Mozaffari
Research areas: Middle East and Islam; globalization; anti-terrorism

Peter Nannestad
Research areas: Economic policy, economic outcome, and mass reactions; institutions of the welfare state; municipal school expenditures and school achievement levels; refugees and immigrants in Denmark, especially the egalitarian dilemma for the welfare state between the goal of income equality and labor market integration of low-skilled immigrants; immigration and social capital: who has what kind and how much social capital in minority groups? What institutions and processes affect the formation of social capital? What is the impact of social capital on social integration? Study of 20 countries, with a focus on Eastern Europe.

Vibeke Lehmann Nielsen
Research areas: Public administration, policy implementation, regulatory enforcement and local government

Asbjørn Sonne Nørgaard
Research areas: the Danish State and organized interests in the 20th century; corporatism in Scandinavia at the crossroads: from traditional corporatism to a pluralist model; organized interests and reform politics (labor market, sickness insurance and pensions); positioning, powering, puzzling; organized interests and parliament in a principal agent perspective; Dutch and Danish new public management

Ole Nørgaard
Research areas: comparative politics; institutional theory; institutions in economic and political development; the politics of economic adjustment programs; development assistance to post-communist systems; telecommunications policy; new Information Technology

Liselotte Odgaard
Research areas: security policy in Eastern, Central and Southeast Asia; border conflicts in East Asia; the English School; realism; U.S. foreign policy

Thomas Olesen
Research areas: social movements, globalization, and democracy

Thomas Pallesen
Research areas: health care reforms in the United Kingdom and Denmark; reform of welfare state institutions in Denmark

Pond on University of Aarhus campus

Jørgen Dige Pedersen
Research areas: economic liberalization in India and Brazil; globalization and the Third World; development theory and development studies

Karin Hilmer Pedersen
Research areas: environmental policy in transition
economies, the dilemma of water pollution versus agricultural and economic development in Baltic and Nordic countries

Thomas Pedersen
Research areas: Democracy and regional integration; French, German and British EU policy; the EU presidency in comparative perspective; the theory of cooperative hegemony

Nikolaj Petersen
Research areas
: the history of Danish foreign policy; Danish foreign policy since 1973; the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU; national EU strategies; foreign policy theory

Jørgen Poulsen
Research areas: a general theory of political solidarity

Søren Serritzlew
Research areas: the impact of budgeting methods; spatial models for decision-making processes; experimental methods; budgeting in Danish municipalities

Nils Chr. Sidenius
Research areas
: Interest associations in Danish politics; EU impact on national politics

Mette Skak
Research areas: Ethno-national conflicts in Central Europe; Russia as an actor in world affairs; COM intern after 1943

Asbjørn Skæveland
Research areas: Party behavior in relation to the formation of formal and less formal coalitions in the Danish Parliament since 1953

Rune Stubager
Research areas
: election behavior; political impact of quality of education; new politics on race and immigration; social identity theory; party platforms in all European countries.

Palle Svensson
Research areas: Democracy and referenda in Denmark and other European countries; democratic participation and political communication in systems of multi-level governance

Curt Sørensen
Research areas: comparative analysis of nation building and development of democracy in Austria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia 1867-1995

Georg Sørensen
Research areas: International relations after the Cold War

Sign of Political Science Department, University of Aarhus

Jens Peter Frølund Thomsen
Research areas: Rational actors and institutions in modern political theory; the development of the Danish welfare state since the late 1950s; modern class theory; ethnicity and cultural cleavages

Søren Risbjerg Thomsen
Research areas: Comparative electoral dynamics; political values in Europe and East Asia; democratic participation in systems of multilevel governance

Lise Togeby
Research areas: Analysis of democracy and power in Denmark; attitudes toward immigrants and refugees; race/ethnicity; the citizenship of ethnic minorities; the Danish power elite

Clemens Stubbe Østergaard
Research areas: Chinese foreign policy after the Cold War; regionalization in East Asia; political reform at county-level in China

Researchers at the Graduate School for Integration, Production and Welfare

Peter Jensen
Research areas:
- Evaluation of social and labor market policies in Scandinavia: what works and for whom? Evaluation of private sector employment and training programs
- Family economics: fertility and relation of women’s educational attainment. Parental leave. How much is taken up by fathers?
- Educational attainment of immigrants: relation between educational attainment and immigrants’ marriage behavior. How does marriage change immigrants’ preferences?

Helene Skyt Nielsen
Research areas: Effect of women’s labor market interruptions; economics of education; impact of Danish high school students’ educational choice in subjects on future income risks. Uses registry data on education, income, loans, etc.

Tree on University of Aarhus campus

Peder J. Pedersen
Research areas: Migration: immigration, brain drain from Scandinavia in 1980, 1990 and 2000 in Denmark, Sweden and Norway; retirement; uses 25 years of panel data

Michael Rossholm
Research areas: Immigrants and the labor market; evaluation of active labor market policy; equilibrium search and matching models; unemployment and health; geographic mobility and job search

Nina Smith
Research areas: Labor supply and taxation; economics of the welfare state; gender wage gap; income distribution, income mobility and poverty; integration of immigrants into the labor market

Michael Svarer
Research areas: Family, marriage, divorce, cohabitation and fertility

Mette Verner
Research areas: Gender differences in the labor market; women in academia; family-friendly policies; economics of migration and integration

FREIA, the Feminist Research Centre at the University of Aalborg

FREIA, an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Aalborg, houses about ten scholars in Sociology, Political Science, Statistics, Cultural Studies, Anthropology and History. FREIA’s research focuses on gender relations, in particular on Gender, Work and Social Change; Gender, Politics and Social Change, and Gender in a Global Context. Anette Borchorst is FREIA’s coordinator. Professor Borchorst’s research interests include gender and the welfare state; gender, power, and politics; policies of equal opportunities, and the EU and the Danish welfare state.

(Source: http://www.ihis.aau.dk/freia/uk/index.php?id=1andst=2, August 2004)


Faculty in the Political Science Department will help Inequality Fellows get information on available data sources and have offered to assist in making contacts for Inequality Fellows to Scandinavian scholars, and national and international research institutions they are affiliated with. For information on the Danish National Statistics Office go to http://www.dst.dk/HomeUK.aspx.

The culture of the Political Science Department is hospitable and informal, and students will enjoy the “open door policy” of the department, which facilitates access to senior faculty.

Dept. of Political Science on University of Aarhus campus

Library access

Visiting Inequality Fellows will have access to the
University of Aarhus’ library facilities.

Research seminars

Inequality Fellows will be very welcome at Aarhus and will be integrated into the Ph.D. group there. The department organizes weekly work-in-progress seminars for senior and junior faculty (local Ph.D. students are considered junior faculty) and study groups several times per semester, for instance on Pierre Bourdieu’s work, or on “Bounded Rationality.” Members of the Ph.D. group participate in weekly brown-bag meetings and Friday breakfast socials. English is a working language of the department.

Practical information


Inequality Fellows need to inform Birgit Kanstrup, department secretary, at least two months before their arrival that they need accommodation. Birgit (email: bk@ps.au.dk) has kindly offered to contact the university’s housing office on behalf of Inequality Fellows. Accommodation available through the housing office includes private rooms with en-suite baths, or an apartment for two people. The cost of the room in spring 2004 was about about DKK 2,500 per month. Housing will be most difficult to find at the beginning of September and January. For more information on accommodation provided by the University of Aarhus, go to http://www.au.dk/en/is/practical/.

Health insurance

The U.S. Department of State provides extensive information on health insurance for Americans traveling abroad.

Office space and computer access

Inequality Fellows will get access to office space and a PC in the Political Science Department.


The most ideal time period to do a research residency at the University of Aarhus is between the beginning of September and the end of June.


A monthly bus pass is about DKK 200. Apparently, the International Student Center buys and sells second-hand bicycles to international students. For train travel in Denmark, the website of the Danish Railways provides helpful information. For information on flights and trains, see http://www.hum.au.dk/engelsk/naes2004/transport.html. For a list of low-cost airlines operating in Europe, visit http://www.discountairfares.com/lcosteur.htm . To print out a location on a map, go to http://www.mappy.com./

Visa information

U.S. citizens do not need a visa if they stay in Denmark not more than 90 days. Students who are staying in Denmark longer than three months will need a residency permit. For the latest visa-related information, see the website of the U.S. Department of State website.

Practical information...>>


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