Ruth Mannelqvist

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Works at:



Umeå universitet
SE-901 87 Umeå

Visiting Address:

Samhällsvetarhuset, Plan 5, Umeå universitet


+46 90 786 74 17


+46 90 786 65 87


ruth.mannelqvist@umu.seEmail 1

ruth.mannelqvist@jus.umu.seEmail 2


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My main research area concerns compensation law from different perspectives; especially public compensations schemes such as social insurance or state compensation. The general focus are co-ordination or collisions between or within compensation schemes.     

This research attaches to a number of different legal fields and, consequently, I am a part of three research themes; 'Social Welfare in Law', 'Victims of Crime' and 'The Relation between Private Law and Public Law - The Twilight Zon'.     

Current Research

Working Capacity from Legal and Medical Perspective

Working capacity is an essential concept, in public social insurance as well as in other cases. This concept is, for instance, very significant when establishing a right to sickness benefit, sickness compensation, compensation from private insurance or when deciding the obligation to repay a study loan.

The concept working capacity is decided both legally and medically, and sometimes with different outcomes. Even though the law is vague and undefined, the legislator has decided that an insured person can provide for his or her own, despite of illness. The legal judgement of working capacity shall be based on ‘strictly medical grounds’, meaning that labour market circumstances, economic, social and other similar circumstances should not be taken into account. From a medical point of view, the capacity for work is a result of both the capacity of the individual and the demands at work. Thus, the medical assessment of working capacity is based on a number of factors. Within private insurance, the concept of working capacity is often interpreted as reduction of bodily functions.

The purpose of this project is to study how the concept working capacity is interpreted and applied by lawyers and physicians. The point of departure is the legal framework and the aim is to analyze legal decisions from administrative courts together with doctor's certificates and statements from insurance physicians. Furthermore, the Swedish comprehension of the concept will be compared to similar concepts used in other countries. Factors as gender, class and ethnicity will also be regarded.

This project is financed by The Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, and is carried out in cooperation with Bengt Järvholm and Berndt Karlsson, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Umeå University.   

Previous Research

Economic Consequenses for Victims of Crime 

When a crime has been committed, the victim has a right to economic compensation. The system of compensation varies among countries, and its norms and regulations of these systems are based on different legal foundations. In Sweden, the welfare state has had an obvious effect on the design of the system of compensation. Although the victim has a legal right to claim damages from the perpetrator, the state provides a great part of the financial compensations for victims. In this research project the aim was to study how the Swedish legal system of economic compensation to crime victim is constructed, and its effects on other kinds of social benefits.

The project was running between 2004-2007 and was financed by The Crime Victim Fund in Sweden.

Connections in Social Insurance

Social insurance is regarded as the core of the Swedish welfare state. A welfare state that is constituted by legal rights; based on solidarity, redistribution and gender equality. In the doctoral thesis "Connections in social insurance. A legal study of the link between benefits and contributions in social insurance.", the principles behind social security law in general and the link between benefits and contributions in specific were analyzed.

This project was running between 1999-2003 and was mainly financed by the National Swedish Social Insurance Board.

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