Susanna Johansson

Susanna Johansson

Associate Professor, Senior Lecturer

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Personal profile


I am an associate professor (docent) of social work and hold a PhD in sociology of law from Lund University. In my doctoral dissertation from 2011 I analyzed inter-organizational collaboration between child protection services, health care and police and public prosecutors in the six first Barnahus (Children's Advocacy Centers/Children's Houses) in Sweden; at the time a new collaborative model for investigating suspected violence and sexual abuse crimes against children. The study focused on the tension between welfare and justice, as well as collaborative processes and power games between the organisations and professional actors involved. As a postdoc research fellow I studied the Barnahus model comparatively across the Nordic countries, focusing on the diffusion and governance of the Barnahus idea and its influence on the balance between welfare and justice. In continuation, I am currently interested in the on-going diffusion, governance and implementation of the Barnahus model in Europe.  

Another research interest and empirical field regards the institutional care of children and young people, currently studied within the framework of two different research projects; one historically designed project that investigates the categorization of mental illness among children and youth in care, and one contemporary project on acute placements of youth in locked institutional care.

My research also relates more broadly and theoretically to inter-organizational collaboration and new forms of welfare governance and regulation, mainly out of a combination of socio-legal perspectives and institutional theory, as well as power perspectives and policy research.  


I mainly teach on the sixth and seventh semester of the Bachelor's programme in social work, on courses in organizational studies, method, supervision and examination of theses, and as course coordinator for Social work with children and young people. I am also involved as a teacher and supervisor at the PhD programme in social work. 


I am a member of the European research network Sociology of Social Policy and Social Welfare (ESA); The Nordic Network for Barnahus Research; The National Network for Research on Collaboration (FORTE); The Child Rights Institute (LU); as well as the research groups Child and Family Welfare Research and Organization and organizing at The School of Social Work (LU). 

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Work
  • Law and Society


  • child welfare
  • institutional theory
  • collaboration
  • Barnahus
  • governance


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