Summer school: The Nordic Model in a Global Context

Oslo Summer School in Comparative Social Science Studies 2018 in cooperation with UiO:Norden invites Ph.D-students to join us in Oslo this summer for a summer school course on the Nordic Welfare State.

Blindern Campus in summer (photo: © UiO/Francesco Saggio)

Course objectives / learning outcome
From Washington to Shanghai, the Nordic Welfare State is a renowned model of society. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse, the international interest seems to be intact and growing. Nordic societies are generally seen as living proof of the possibility of stable democracies, the combination of economic success and social rights, the realization (at least partially) of social inclusion and gender equality, and the successful combat of poverty. This is pointed out by numerous international studies and rankings where the Nordic countries are almost always in the top-10. However, taking a closer look at the debates and nature of the actual use of the model reveals quite different understandings and uses of the Nordic model. It might refer to a variety of topics (from welfare over gender equality to efficient growth models), it can be positive (utopic) or negative (dystopic), and it changes over time. But how and why has it attracted so much interest? 

Drawing on recent research by both social scientists and historians, this summer course aims at critically assesing the Nordic model in the global contrext. In other words, we will discuss what is the Nordic model and how has it been circulated globally. Our point of departure is two-fold: First, we argue that the model must be studied in a global context. Secondly, we need to take the circulation (the diffusion and the ‘domestification’) of the model into account.

Consequently, the course will be organized in three parts:

  • In the first part, we’ll focus on developing an analytical framework for the study of diffusion of ideas and societal models. This will allow us also to place the Nordic model into the broader framework of global political economy.
  • Second, we’ll take a closer look at the Nordic model. How did it develop historically, and does it really exist (except as an idea)?
  • Third, we’ll focus on the global circulation of the Nordic model. This will include both empirical case-studies and more theoretical perspectives on how the Nordic model was constructed and reconstructed in time and space.
Published Feb. 6, 2018 10:15 AM - Last modified Mar. 8, 2019 11:45 AM