The making and circulation of Nordic models, ideas and images

The aim of the workshop is to present and discuss drafts for chapters in a book with the preliminary title “The making and circulation of Nordic models”*. The workshop is a follow-up from a subtheme at the Nordic experiences – Global challenges conference in Oslo 20.-21 March 2017 where papers were presented. The workshop included presentations of several case-studies of how various notions of a Nordic model have circulated in international intellectual and political circles. Papers detailed this process (and its effects or lack of effects) in Spain, France, the U.S., Poland, and U.K. The aim of this workshop, which is organized by Nordic Branding project as well as the UiO Nordic initiative,  is to further develop such case studies while also bringing in new theoretical perspectives, studies and methodical approaches. We invite empirical and theoretical papers with historical, interdisciplinary and transnational perspectives that critically examine models, ideas and images related to Nordic experiences, or constructions of” the Nordic” in transnational institutional spheres and societies outside of Nordic realm. As a minimum, the papers should detail the actual process of diffusion and translation, but preferably, a discussion of possible effects/repercussions should be included. As a minimum, papers should analyze one case, but comparative studies will be appreciated.

There is currently a great deal of interest in” the Nordic Model” in the international community as well as in the Nordic countries themselves. For many people “the Nordic Model” represents a formula for success where economic growth, social welfare, a highly skilled labor force and high quality of living have been successfully combined. For others, it represents overblown paternalistic welfare states which tax their citizens far too much.

Recently, the Nordic countries have faced international critique for their treatment of asylum-seekers and non-western ethnic groups. Currently, most social partners and political parties in the Nordic region seem to accept or identify with the idea that even at present, the Nordic countries continue to represent a viable paradigm for socio-economic development. But some of the assumptions of this claim can be questioned. Although “the Nordic Model” is often presented as a success formula, it refers to a diversity of experiences and differences, and when considering present challenges, it may also have one or more “dark sides”. It may not even be as exceptional as many scholars claim.

Present paper:

We welcome comparisons between Nordic and other countries, as well as analyses of the actual differences and similarities that may help us decide in which respects a “Nordic model” really existed (historically) and exists (today). There is a diversity of ideas, models, and “brands” circulating, all claiming to represent Nordic experiences and institutional innovations, for instance Nordic model of education and life-long learning, Nordic style politics of innovation, Nordic type penal systems. The Nordic countries are seen as peace brokers and norm entrepreneurs with a high degree of gender equality. Other themes relate to the Nordic social movements and “creative industries” such as Nordic design, Nordic literature and cuisine. Papers that address and problematize the existence of Nordic models as well as the emergence and circulation of ideas relating to such models are welcome.

View call for paper (Deadline June 30. 2017)



 *To be published in the book series Nordic studies and societies in a global context, Cambridge University Press

Published June 8, 2017 1:20 PM - Last modified Sep. 26, 2017 10:34 AM