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Can the state ban smoking and make exercise mandatory?

PhD student in political science Anne-Sofie Greisen Højlund from Aarhus BSS receives an EliteForsk travel grant and goes on a research stay in Oslo. Here, she will work on her PhD project about how the state intervenes in the health of its citizens.

 

How should the state treat its citizens in order to treat them as equals? To what extent – if at all – can the state e.g. make daily exercise mandatory for public sector employees, ban particularly high-fat products or provide financial incentives to participate in courses to quit smoking?

These are questions asked by PhD student in political science Anne-Sofie Greisen Højlund from Aarhus BSS, who is one of five talented PhD students to receive the EliteForsk travel grant in Denmark.

The grant gives her the opportunity to go on a research stay at the University of Oslo, Norway, where she will work on her PhD project about the legitimacy of state interventions in individual choices ‘Policies of Egalitarian Relations: The Case For and Against Paternalistic State Action’. 

“This is of great interest at the moment where lifestyle-induced conditions such as cancer, diabetes and COPD become increasingly widespread, and breakthroughs within behavioural economics and technology offer a series of new opportunities for influencing people to make healthier choices. In my project, I undertake a critical discussion of this potential based on the value of the state treating all its citizens as equals,” says Anne-Sofie Greisen Højlund.

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