Human Capacity Development and ‘Investable’ subjects: Social Investment and Social Values

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In Denmark, there is a political momentum behind social investments. However, academic literature on social investment in the Danish context is still sparse. In the international discussion around social investment, it is argued that more knowledge is needed on the actual practices and values of social investment as well as their contextual conditions in the form of spatialities, temporalities and organisational forms and justifications for social investment in order to judge their impact on welfare innovation. This article aims to fill this gap by qualitatively investigating the kinds of human capacity development and social values involved in a Danish social investment project and the kinds of solidarity and welfare innovation it initiates. The social investment project investigated here aims to include “activity ready” long-term unemployed people in the labour market through small, meaningful jobs. The case is interesting because it is one of the first examples of SIBs in Denmark and because it has transformed into an internal social investment in the study period. Furthermore, it works according to values that combine a business and social inclusion perspective and thus aims to establish a practice that integrates economic, social and human values. The analysis of the Danish case focuses on how investable subjects are presented as candidates worth investing in and how we are to understand the local contextual conditions for this social investment project and its dependence on generating a local environment of corporate social responsibility? In the concluding discussion it is argued that looking into the actual ongoing practices can contribute to the debate on whether we should think of social investment across different models.
TidsskriftJournal of European Social Policy
StatusAfsendt - 2023


  • Social investment
  • Denmark
  • Human capacity development
  • social values
  • human values
  • unemployment
  • social inclusion