Welfare, Health and Wellbeing

Welfare, health and wellbeing are fundamental for humans and their society. Welfare is intended to create the societal and individual security that is essential for health and wellbeing, as well as equal opportunities to realisation of human rights.

Welfare values are central to both religious and societal structures. Welfare states have, however, in recent decades faced significant challenges when our societies, their conditions and values change. Such changes are closely related to changes in demography and institutional structures, internationalisation and privatisation of welfare as well as increased movement of people and their private and professional activities. This means that the organisation and values of welfare change and develop. These changes influence people’s health and wellbeing and therefore connect closely to questions of ethics and religion.

The theme welfare, health and wellbeing focuses on research around basic societal challenges, as well as the development potential within this. In recent times this focus has become increasingly relevant, not least due to the global Covid-19 pandemic which impacts the health and wellbeing of individuals and whole societies, but also challenge our welfare systems. But other crises and threats also bring similar challenges: economic crises, large migration flows and not least the climate crisis which risks causing all the above named problems and more. Such crises and societal challenges create competition and conflict around declining resources. Vulnerable groups in society are particularly affected in crises due to the lack of resources for handling them at the same time as they are victims of blame and suspicion. At the same time there is a growing societal involvement in attempts to handle these crises and a pluralism in the ways forward to positive social development. These challenges and potential in the light of contemporary societal crises are what we aim to study more closely within the framework of this theme, both in an interdisciplinary manner and using a greater number of methods and sectors.

In relation to this thematic area research is conducted with connection to the challenges and possibilities that migration creates. Against the background of the traumas that newly arrived migrants can have experienced before migration, but also the structural problems that they meet in their new environments we study mental and existential heath as well as the agency and capacity for coping and resilience that individuals and groups can have. Connections to ethnicity, religiosity, culture and other meaning making fields and their importance for welfare, health and wellbeing are central. We pay attention to different experiences in relation to gender, age, generation and socio-economic status and not least discrimination.

One further area where we highlight the thematic issues is societal change to meet the climate crisis, a crisis which threatens not only the environment, but also social economy, welfare, as well as individuals’ health, wellbeing and realisation of human rights. The climate crisis is one of humanity’s greatest challenges and makes big demands on both individuals and society to change our whole way of living. This transition as well as the overarching climate threat creates existential challenges for people. Civil society has an important role here, not least religious organisations and congregations. Climate transition of society as well as the role of individuals, religions and faith communities within this are therefore some of the questions it is important to study in multidisciplinary contexts.


Önver Cetrez: Fotspår - Att förstå andra människors erfarenheter av integration

Önver Cetrez: PHOENIX - Human Mobility, Global Challenges and Resilience in an Age of Social Stress

  • Önver Cetrez, Psychology of Religion, Department of Theology
  • Annika NIlsson, Administrative Law, Department of Law
Last modified: 2023-01-13