1 Department of Political Science, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Department of Political Science, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
Within recent years, Denmark has implemented a number of preventive policies based on the line of reasoning that it is better to prevent than to solve problems. Preventive policies express political intentions aimed at solving core welfare state problems related to health, education and welfare using professionals with different disciplinary backgrounds such as teachers, pedagogues and home nurses as the final implementers. However, we know from implementation studies that strong political intentions won’t do it alone. They need to be supported by clear policy goals to minimize bureaucratic problems all the way from policy design to the teacher’s desk and the home nurse’s family visit (Wildavsky 1984, Brodkin 2006). In the Danish case, a comparative policy study finds that preventive policy design causes ambivalent policy tools, regulative acts and unspecific political categories (Harrits & Møller forthcoming in Critical Policy Studies) as well as a reproduction of social boundaries affecting variation between how professionals transform public worries into preventive action (Harrits & Møller re- invited in Public Management Review). One analysis suggested that an increase in social distance between professionals and children sometimes, but not always, caused them to worry more. Why is it that professionals sometimes but not always resist to increase their worry for children based on social distance? I explore this variation through a focus on the professionals solidarity orientations expressed through perceptions of collectivity, community and society, because I expect variance in such dimensions to have an impact on how resistant professionals can be to the exposure of social distance.