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Diffusion and Governance of 'Barnahus' in the Nordic Countries: Report from an On-going Project

NCJ Number
Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention Volume: 13 Issue: Supplement 1 Dated: 2012 Pages: 69-84
Susanna Johansson
Date Published
16 pages
This paper constitutes a report from an on-going research project aimed at comparing diffusion and governance of Barnahus in the Nordic countries.
Barnahus can be considered as one of the main policy ventures related to children as crime victims in recent years, building on close inter-agency collaboration under one roof. The project's focus is on how forms of diffusion and governance affect the tension between criminal and welfare law in the respective countries. In addition, variations regarding the role of governmental and voluntary or informal actors in the processes of diffusion and governance are of central concern, as well as interactions between the countries. The paper primarily presents the theoretical framework for the study, building on institutional theory, a sociology of law perspective on governance, and a power perspective. Moreover, methodological and empirical considerations are discussed in relation to the framework. Finally, the paper reflects on what the project brings to future criminological research, highlighting the knowledge on institutional circumstances, governance structures, and the balance between punishment and treatment concerning children as crime victims in the Nordic countries. More generally, the interdisciplinary framework contributes with a possibility of understanding and analyzing contemporary changes in criminal and welfare policy. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.