About Us

What is nordics.info?

nordics.info responds to a recent demand for knowledge about the Nordic region and is set up to gather and disseminate reliable, interdisciplinary information to a global and Nordic readership. Content covers different aspects of the Nordic societies, including history, politics, social policy and culture, and comparisons between the Nordics and other geographical areas.

nordics.info seeks to be accessible and relevant to readers while reflecting the complexity of the subject matter. Nordic countries are often presented in either a utopian or a dystopian light. The truth usually lies somewhere between the two and depends on the context, country, subject, and so on – and the reader’s own perspective.

What does Nordic mean?

Nordic usually means the five states Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, plus the three autonomous territories connected to these states: the Faroe Islands and Greenland (Denmark) and Åland (Finland). It is not surprising that there are similarities between the Nordic states given the closely entangled histories of the Nordic countries and, in particular:

  • Nordic language and culture.
  • Nordic co-operation.
  • The Nordic model.
  • History of the Nordic region.

For more information, read an article on The Nordic Region by Professor Mary Hilson.

Scandinavia vs the Nordics

Although the term Scandinavia is often used to refer to the whole region, Nordic is becoming increasingly common and this is the usage also adopted on nordics.info. The terms Scandinavia and Scandinavian are often used as synonyms for Norden and Nordic, but some consider that Scandinavia refers just to Denmark, Norway and Sweden (or even just to the Norwegian-Swedish peninsula), and does not include Finland or Iceland.

Nordic concept is not fixed – what is it to you?

Defining definitively what the Nordics means is difficult. To some, the Nordic region is empirically grounded in joint politics and history. To others, the term may invoke a particular genre of literature or art, and encompass work done outside the Nordic region. To yet others, it is merely a branding exercise which tries to unite countries which are in fact quite different. And so on.

Is it 'The Next Supermodel' as exclaimed by The Economist in 2013? Is the French President Macron really influenced by the Nordic model of liberalism? Are the Nordic countries ‘havens of gender equality’ as the United Nations have suggested?

Decide for yourself after reading nordics.info.

Why a website on a region and not individual countries?

The idea of the nation state understandably dominates much analysis in many subject areas discussed within academia and society as a whole. Taking a wider interpretative stance and considering regional and comparative perspectives can be informative and result in new and interesting viewpoints.

While embracing the term Nordic, nordic.info does not wish to simplify differences within the countries in the Nordics, and between the Nordics and elsewhere.

What nordics.info is not

It is perhaps easier to explain what nordics.info is by setting out what it is not:

  • It is not news, although it welcomes articles on up-to-date and polemic issues. Articles are not intended to be sensational or journalistic.
  • It is not peer-reviewed, although contributors are mainly published researchers.
  • It is not a blog. Blogs tend to be more heavily characterized by the opinions and reflections of the writer. We do recognize though that opinion and political leanings often influence what researchers choose to say and the sources they read and cite.
  • It is not intended to sell you the Nordic dream. Critical analysis is key, although we hope that an objective examination of the successes and failures of the Nordics, as elsewhere, can contribute to understanding current global challenges.
  • It does not wish to simplify differences within the Nordics, and between the Nordics and elsewhere, but considers merit in analyzing issues from a regional perspective.

Key partners

nordics.info is part of the Nordic university consortium hub ReNEW (Reimagining the Nordic Region in an Evolving World), funded by NordForsk. It draws on the expertise of the six consortium universities in the ReNEW Hub (Copenhagen Business School,  Södertörn University, University of Helsinki, University of Iceland, University of Oslo and Aarhus University), but contributions are also made by others. It also builds on the experience of danmarkshistorien.dk, a very successful research-communication website concerned with Denmark and its history in Danish, which is also based in the School of Culture and Society at Aarhus University.

Comments

We endeavour to ensure accuracy and the highest possible quality content, objectivity and a good mix of material on different states and subject areas. Quantity and spread is largely dependent on the solicited and unsolicited submissions that we receive. Authors are generally responsible for the factual content of their articles and it is inevitable that different interpretations of even empirical studies can be reached. However, you are always welcome to get in touch if you spot a mistake on the website, or if you consider an important analysis or perspective on a subject has been missed.