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  • 1.
    Fridolfsson, Charlotte
    et al.
    Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Elander, Ingemar
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Faith-based organizations and welfare state retrenchment in Sweden: substitute or complement?2012In: Politics and Religion, ISSN 1755-0483, E-ISSN 1755-0491, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 634-654Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Local governments in Europe are facing difficulties in meeting citizens' demands for welfare provision. This opens new opportunities for profit as well as non-profit providers of social welfare. Faith-based organizations (FBOs) are one type of non-governmental organizations addressed by governments to complement or replace parts of public welfare provision. This article gives some examples of FBOs in action as providers of welfare in a European context, with a particular focus on Sweden. Following the introduction, the second part locates the phenomenon of FBOs within the scholarly debate about secularism/post-secularism as related to multi-level governance. The third part gives an overview of potential roles of FBOs in welfare provision combating poverty and social exclusion, illustrated by a few examples from European contexts. Focus in the fourth part is upon the role of FBO engagement in Sweden as developing after World War II. It is concluded that no system is all encompassing in catering to those who suffer from poverty and social exclusion. There will always be a need for the competence and avant-garde role potentially provided by FBOs. However, due to historical circumstances FBOs in Sweden have been, and still are, complementary rather than an outright alternative to public welfare provision.

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