Public policy, gender equality and labour markets

Policy making is usually seen as being characterised in the Nordics by a culture of working together, from the cross-party parliamentary culture, to tripartite negotiations between the government, employers and employees, to gender inclusiveness in the workplace. However, gender segregation within the workforce remains high and other complex paradoxes exist that must not be overlooked. This page seeks to provide articles on both the traditional view of the Nordics as well as research that deconstructs that view.


The official flag of Åland since the 1950s. Åland is semi-automonous in that it has its own legislature, but it is a part of Finland despite over 90% of the population speaking Swedish. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.

2019.04.25 | The Quick Read, Jason Lavery, Minorities, Democracy, Governance

The Åland Islands

The Åland Islands lie at the south-western tip of the Finnish peninsula between Finland and Sweden. This archipelago of 6,500 islands and skerries is demilitarised, an autonomous region and a Swedish-speaking part of Finland.

Offices of the Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman in Stockholm. The first Swedish Ombudsman was appointed in 1810. Photo: Riksdagens Ombudsman.

2019.04.25 | The Quick Read, Inken Dose, Governance

Ombudsman

Originating in Sweden in 1809, an ombudsman is generally regarded as an official body of complaint which protects individuals against abuses of power and maladministration. Finland and Denmark were the second and third countries to establish an ombudsman, and the idea later spread to the other Nordic countries and further afield. The idea of a…

The SIPRI Year Book is the main publication of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. It is published every year accounting for armaments, military spending and conflicts internationally. Photo: Courtesy of SIPRI.

2019.03.26 | The Quick Read, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Education

Peace studies in the Nordics

A number of peace research institutes emerged in the Nordics from around 1960. They were initially seen as politically radical and interdisciplinary with a focus on the applied rather than the academic side of peace studies. Since them, they have become more part of the establishment, advising governments and producing staff skilled in peace…

Heyerdahl directed archaeological excavations in a variety of places including Easter Island and Azerbaijan. Photo: Kon-Tiki Museum (CC BY 3.0)

2019.03.20 | Biography, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Education

Thor Heyerdahl (1916-2002)

The Norwegian scientist Thor Heyerdahl was internationally renowned for leading expeditions across vast oceans in rudimentary vessels.

An illustration of the Indo-European and Uralic language trees. Art by Minna Sundberg. Courtesy of Tom Wigley. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

2019.03.15 | The Quick Read, Marc Pierce, Education

Linguistics in the Nordics

The scientific study of language form and meaning, including the specialised branch of runology, has been a prominent academic pursuit in the Nordics since the Middle Ages.

Gro Harlem Brundtland in April of 2009. Photo: GAD (CC BY-SA 3.0).

2019.03.13 | Biography, Ann Legreid, Governance

Gro Harlem Brundtland (b. 1939)

Gro Harlem Brundtland is an internationally recognised Norwegian politician and environmentalist known for her advocacy of sustainability, public health and human rights. Among a number of public offices, she served as Prime Minister of Norway for ten years.

Sundbyberg's folk high school in Sweden. Photo: Wikimedia, CC0.

2019.03.01 | The Quick Read, Kyle Frackman, Education, Democracy

Nordic folk high schools

Folk high schools are institutions which provide general and vocational education for young people and adults. Based on the philosophy of Danish educator, pastor, and religious revivalist N.F.S. Grundtvig (1783-1872), the first school was founded in Denmark in 1844, but the concept spread to other Nordic countries in the following decades. There…

Isak and Even's love story from the third season of Shame when it became popular in Russia. Photo: Courtesy of NRK.

2019.02.28 | Article, Saara Ratilainen, Media, Culture, Gender, Nordic Noír

Russian fans of Norwegian TV series Shame

Fans redefine geopolitical and gender-based boundaries: Shame [Skam], is a hit teen drama series produced by the Public Broadcasting Service in Norway. It ran for four seasons from 2015 to 2017 and became a global phenomenon through an active online fan culture. Remakes abound elsewhere, but Russian teens access Skam largely through social media…

The Finnish Act on Freedom of the Press from 1766, which included the Principle of Publicity. Photo: © Tryckfrihetsförordningen1766 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

2019.02.27 | Article, Ainur Elmgren, Governance, Nation building

Open government in the Nordics

Open government is intended to ensure transparency, accountability and openness and involves fundamental issues such as press freedom, public disclosure and freedom of information legislation, all key aspects of the administration of Nordic states. These states were amongst the earliest to introduce lauded measures of open government, such as the…

2019.02.27 | Article, Kyle Frackman, Culture, Education

Swedish speakers in Finland

Finland has two official languages, Finnish and Swedish, as a result of its more than 600-years as part of the Kingdom of Sweden (until 1809). While the Swedish-speaking minority has remained relatively small, the Finnish Constitution and other relevant legislation guarantee them the same language rights as Finnish speakers. This has resulted in…

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