In addition to the general learning outcomes for doctoral education in Sweden, the doctoral programme in Welfare Law focuses on the contents and function of the judicial system in order to construct and maintain welfare institutions that respect fundamental values such as the rule of law, equality, and the integrity of the individual. Welfare Law is also known as Social Law.

Photo credit Charlotte Perhammar

Particular emphasis is placed on understanding welfare law as an instrument for creating or maintaining welfare for individuals and social groups, and as a basis up on which decisions are made in individual cases.  The programme promotes a multidisciplinary approach and the use of diverse theories and methods.

Multidisciplinary Research

“Welfare law” is defined in relation to the concept of “welfare” and, thus, the field of study is not limited to any specific area of law. Research within welfare law is principally multidisciplinary, given the connection between welfare and social work.

This means that the theoretical foundation of welfare law lies within both jurisprudence and the social sciences, and that research methods are taken from both areas. While the subject of welfare law has a strong connection to various aspects of social work, it is limited in that the issues it raises are based on problems associated with legislation and social rights. These may be based on an understanding of Swedish and international legislation and the determination of its contents, or on questions concerning the significance and consequences of the legislation for individuals and society. The programme thus spans several fields.

Sometimes Welfare Law is referred to as Social Law. Here at Linköping University we use the term Welfare Law to emphasize the multidisciplinary nature of our research.

Collaborations with other Divisions, Departments, and Universities

The doctoral programme in welfare law is led by Professor Anna Lundberg and is conducted in collaboration with other divisions within the Department of Culture and Society, the Division for Commercial and Business Law within the Department of Management and Engineering, and other universities. The researchers in welfare law are members of the Onati community.

Doctor's or Licentiate Degree

The programme has a duration of four years and leads to a doctor’s degree (240 credits) and/or a licentiate degree (120 credits).


Research on Welfare Law


Doctoral studies at Linköping University