Anna Derksen

Anna is a PhD candidate in social and political history at the Institute for History, Leiden University in the Netherlands. Her research interests include modern Nordic history, welfare states, the history of national minorities and persons with disabilities, as well as transnational relations and development cooperation. For more information about Anna, click here.


Contributions to nordics.info

Visual interpretations of disability on stamps issued by the Nordic governments for the International Year of Disabled Persons in 1981. Collage: Author.

2021.01.22 | Article, Anna Derksen, Public policy

Disability policies and movements in the Nordic countries since 1945

During the last century, the situation of people with disabilities in the Nordic welfare states has changed dramatically. For a long time disability was regarded as an issue for the national welfare services, which had a marginalizing effect from a legal point of view, characterized by medical diagnostics, accommodation in mass institutions and…

Photo: Yadid Levy / Norden.org, (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

2020.12.22 | Article, Anna Derksen, Minorities, The Nordics in the World

Transnational interactions of Nordic disability activism, 1980-2000

In 1981, the United Nations International Year of Disabled Persons (IYDP) shed new light on the global situation of people with disabilities with the slogan ‘full participation and equality’. Based on a longer history of Nordic disability rights activism since the 1960s and the assumption that equal rights of disabled people had by and large…

A magazine cover from the Swedish disability rights movement’s umbrella organisation for international development work in 1991. Photo: Reproduced with kind permission from My Right.

2020.01.21 | The Quick Read, Anna Derksen, The Nordics in the World, Globalisation

Disability, development and the Nordics, 1960s-2000

Nordic disability organizations have been carrying out development projects in the Global South since the 1960s. Initially a preventive and rehabilitative approach was taken with, for example, a focus on schools for special education, vocational training and medical care. Although important, this type of aid became increasingly seen as…

A young Bengt Lindqvist. Photo: Synskadades Riksförbund.

2019.12.04 | Biography, Anna Derksen, Minorities, The Nordics in the World

Bengt Olof Lennart Lindqvist (1936-2016)

Bengt Lindqvist was a Swedish politician and an active member of Swedish and international disability organizations. He became deputy minister for social security in 1985, the first Swedish minister with a visual impairment, and served as the first United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability from 1994 to 2002. In both the national and the…