Susanna Johansson

Senior Lecturer

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Work
  • Law and Society


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


In my PhD thesis from 2011 I analyzed the six first Barnahus (Children's Advocacy Centers/Children's Houses) in Sweden, as a new collaborative model for investigations of suspected violence and sexual 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 professions 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 study that investigates the categorization of mental illness among children and youth in care, and one contemporary project on emergency 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 the courses Organising social work, Knowledge production in social work and Social work with children and young people (course coordinator), as well as supervision and examination of bachelor theses. I am aslo a supervisor on the master and PhD programmes in social work. 


I am a member of the following research networks/groups:

Sociology of Social Policy and Social Welfare, ESA 

Nordic Network for Children's House/Barnahus Research

National Network for Research on Collaboration

Child Rights Institute, Lund University

Child and Family Welfare Research (CFWR), School of Social Work, Lund University 

Organisation and Organising, School of Social Work, Lund University

Recent research outputs

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