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Out and about in the welfare state: the right to transport in everyday life for people with disabilities in Swedish, Danish and Norwegian law
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Forum for Studies on Law and Society.
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to identify how a social citizenship for people with disabilities is shaped bythe normative structures in the Swedish, Danish and Norwegian law governing their right to transportin everyday life. The thesis deals with three types of transport provided by the public to private individuals: transport services, car allowances, and cash benefits for reimbursing transport costs forpeople with disabilities. For each provision, the focus of the study is directed by the followingquestions:

– Is there a rights/duties relationship between the public and the individual? Who is eligible forprovision? How does public funding impact entitlement? Who is obliged to provide? What are thelegal guarantees for entitlement?

Despite objectives within Nordic law and policy that people with disabilities should be compensated for their impairments, and allowed to lead independent and autonomous lives, the results from the thesis show that the various transport provisions do not fully realize this. The legal relations between the public and those with needs for transport in their everyday lives are characterized by control, scrutiny and questioning. In order to protect the public budgets from costs, the eligibility criteria in the law are so constructed as to ensure that only certain needs for transport, and only some impairments, can meet them. The national, regional and municipal governments, and the administrative courts, subject people with disabilities to intrusive inquiries regarding personal details and other circumstances in their lives, in order to be able to judge which needs for transport are to be considered legitimate and which are not.

The thesis shows that the individual rights to, especially, Swedish and Norwegian transport provisions are poorly protected against political decisions to cut funding. Local and regional self-governance isan interest that always competes with individual legal rights and make them weaker, irrespective of whether these rights can be appealed in administrative courts.

The conclusion in the thesis highlights how a social citizenship is shaped in the law governing the right to transport for people with disabilities, and that this social citizenship does not reinforce independence and individual autonomy for those who are dependent on the various provisions tomeet their needs for transport in their everyday lives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University , 2015. , 360 p.
Keyword [en]
Disability, transport, everyday life, disability law, social law, transport law, comparative law, welfare state, legal criteria
National Category
Law and Society
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-101763ISBN: 978-91-7601-252-9OAI: diva2:802039
Public defence
2015-05-08, Hörsal C, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 14:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-04-17 Created: 2015-04-10 Last updated: 2015-04-21Bibliographically approved

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