About the Center for Digital Welfare

The Center for Digital Welfare is a research center at the IT University of Copenhagen with researchers from all three university departments. The CDW researchers come together in working with questions related to the digitalization of the welfare society.

The CDW’s strategic direction is formed by a management team with Irina Papazu as Head of Center and Kitt Plinia Nielsen as Strategic Project Manager.

Furthermore, the CDW consists of two working groups with the themes The Agile State led by Associate Professor Irina Papazuand Digital Citizenship led by Associate Professor Sisse Finken. The center is currently in the process of establishing two new working groups, which we expect to launch in January 2023. Each of the CDW working groups consists of up to ten members, who come together several times per semester to engage in research activities and projects both with and without the CDW’s stakeholders. In the following, you will find a concise introduction to each working group.


Working Group 1: The Agile State

led by Associate Professor Irina Papazu (irpa@itu.dk)


This working group focuses on the changes taking place in the public sector as it engages in digitalization processes. We focus on digitalization at the state level, understood as the governmental apparatus of political decision-making and the central administration's technical-bureaucratic layers.

We are intrigued by pursuing questions about the mutual construction of digitalization processes and politics, bureaucracy, statehood and private sector influences.

The working group studies implications of the ever-closer relationship between the public and the private sector – not least exemplified by introducing agile methods into the state procedures  - and analyzes the consequences for longstanding democratic values, such as trust, transparency, and public deliberation.

We offer empirical and conceptual answers to questions about the effects and implications of these new departures of the digitalized and digitalizing state. Creating knowledge about how digitalization reconfigures the state and vice versa is crucial in the conversation about the future of the welfare state.

People phones

Working Group 2: Digital Citizenship

led by Associate Professor Sisse Finken (sisf@itu.dk)


This working group focuses on the subject positions or ‘bodies’ that come into being through the digital technologies put in place to deliver welfare. We explore how ’citizenship’ and ’welfare’ are being configured and transformed through new technological imaginaries and digitalization practices.

We are particularly interested in the implications of digitalization for ‘vulnerable populations’ – or how new technological initiatives may produce both new abilities and vulnerabilities. We explore the role of digital technologies in different domains such as aging, disability and healthcare, and pervasive ideas and policy discourses such as active citizenship, citizen science and security.

We offer critical perspectives on digital welfare by tracing its implications for citizenship and exploring the effects – both social, material and affective - on the people and practices affected by the increasing digitalization of the welfare society and the conjoint demands of becoming digital citizens.