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Nina Holm Vohnsen

PhD, Associate professor

Nina Holm Vohnsen
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My current research:

I am broadly interested in 'policy-driven development' - i.e. the human attempt to steer development in a particular direction by use of policy such as legislation, action plans and project design.

I have just embarked on a new field of interest: The idea of Basic Income and the way governments around the world try to rethink the relationship between nation states and their citizens through revised benefit schemes and cash transferrals. Concretely, I am following the planning of a proposed Basic Income pilot in Fife, Scotland. 

In parallel, I am currently applying for funding for a project, which examines and portrays the daily amount of work that unemployed people living on a low income have to do just to get by. The hypothesis the project explores is whether living in conditions of poverty in fact constitutes a type of work in its own right, and a type of work so exhausting as to prevent people from actually improving their situations and benefiting from current Danish welfare schemes. The aim of the project is to diagnose the concrete ways in which the most well-meant and well-planned policies sometimes end up draining the people they are meant to assist.

I  just concluded a research project funded by The Carlsberg Foundation that focused on the Danish civil service and how their work is challenged and shaped by the growing demands that policy be based on rigorous scientific research. This research has - among other things - resulted in a book called The Absurdity of Bureaucracy. How Implementation Works. 


For students: 

I especially welcome students (for supervision) who are driven by curiosity rather than students who are looking for a way to improve their CV. I welcome odd interests and strange field sites. I would love to supervise students with an interest in Basic Income, Latin America, Seasteading, the colonisation of Mars, gender relations, neotopias or alternative value production (permaculture, squatter societies, black labour, political communes etc.). 

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