Public policy, gender equality and labour markets

Policy making in the Nordics is characterised by the welfare state and 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. Many of these aspects are seen as making up what is often referred to as the Nordic model. 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. New articles are added on a regular basis.


Nordic Council headquarters in Copenhagen. Photo: Yadid Levy/Norden.org (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

2019.02.25 | Article, Jenny Rood, Juliette Victor, Cooperation, Governance, Region-building

Nordic Council and Nordic Council of Ministers

Organisations exist to facilitate the discussion and coordination of policies in areas of joint interest to the Nordic countries. The Nordic Council fosters co-operation among parliamentarians from member nations and the Nordic Council of Ministers promotes cooperation among government officials. Without power to make laws, these bodies are…

Klosterfoss Kraftverk, hydropower plant in Skien, Norway. Hydropower provides almost all the electricity in Norway. Photo: Bitjungle, Wikimedia Commons. CC-BY-SA Creative Commons.

2019.02.25 | The Quick Read, Jenny Rood, Juliette Victor, Public policy

Hydroelectricity in the Nordic countries

Hydroelectricity is a significant source of energy particularly in Norway and Iceland. While Greenland has invested in hydroelectricity since 1990, the establishment of new facilities has stagnated elsewhere in the Nordics due to concern about the environmental impact.

2019.02.25 | Article, Eric S. Einhorn, Economy

Overview of taxation in the Nordics

Tax policy is a core instrument of public policy in the Nordic countries. Whilst popular media often criticise the high taxes in Nordic countries, the public generally recognises that taxes provide necessary support to essential services. They know that to ‘slash’ taxes also means slashing healthcare, education, social security, and numerous other…

Historic government district of Tinganes in Tórshavn.

2019.02.25 | Article, Peter Thaler, Governance

Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands (Føroyar) consist of 18 main islands situated halfway between Scotland and Iceland in the North Atlantic. Their combined landmass of 1399 square kilometres is as of 2018 populated by approximately 50,000 inhabitants, of whom more than one-third live in the capital of Tórshavn. While part of the realm of Denmark, the Faroe Islands…

Even though the Nordic countries have high levels of gender equality, the caring professions, such as working in daycare or with the elderly, are dominated by female workers.

2019.02.22 | Article, Astrid Elkjær Sørensen, Gender, Labour markets, Law

Gender segregation in the Nordic labour market

Since the 1960s the Nordic countries have been renowned for their high level of gender equality as they have amongst the world’s highest employment and education rates for women. At the same time the Nordic countries also have greater horizontal segregation by sex than the rest of the EU, that is, most women work in different occupations than most…

2019.02.22 | Video, Saara Ratilainen, Media, Culture, Gender, Nordic Noír, Research

Russian fans interacting with Nordic television series (the case of Shame)

This presentation is from a transdisciplinary research workshop entitled Nordic Noir, Geopolitics and the North held at Aarhus University in October 2018.

Rudolf Meidner (1914-2005), the Swedish economist. Photo: The Internet archive taken from his 1978 book Employee Investment Funds An Approach To Collective Capital Formation.

2019.02.21 | The Quick Read, John Logue, Economy, Democracy

Wage earner funds

The term wage earner fund refers to different models of redistributing profit amongst workers of individual employers or sectors. It is often characterised by the 1975 Meidner’s model which set out that new stocks issued could be paid to funds, which would be administered by a group of directors with advice from trade unions.

The Løgting or Faroese parliament is considered the oldest parliment in the world. It is mentioned in the saga ‘Færeyingasaga’ written in Iceland in around the year 1200, but historians estimate that the origin of the Faroese Løgting can be traced as far back as shortly after the first Norse settlement (landnam) of the Faroes in the year 800. The building is from 1856.

2019.02.21 | The Quick Read, Norbert Götz, Governance, Nation building, Democracy

Parliamentary culture in the Nordic countries

The Nordic countries have a particular parliamentary culture characterised by consensus and working across party lines. Their parliaments remain influential institutions considering the general trend towards greater executive power. The principles of parliamentary government and universal suffrage were introduced comparatively early in Norden. The…

Input from labour market organisations and other interest groups can be fed into decision making from the local to the national level. Photo: Benjamin Child, Unsplash.

2019.02.21 | Article, Norbert Götz, Governance, Public policy, Democracy

Corporatism and the Nordic countries

Corporatism is about the influence of organisations and interest groups on policy making. The Nordic countries are societies with strong interest groups, acknowledged and privileged by the state, that wield considerable influence on policy making and implementation. Corporatism, or neo-corporatism, is found within industrial relations, but is also…

National trade union confederations have played an important role in Nordic society and politics throughout the twentieth century. Today, their role is increasingly challenged.

2019.02.19 | Article, David Redvaldsen, Labour markets

Labour movement in the Nordic countries

The 'labour movement' refers to the network of political, industrial, voluntary, educational and recreational organisations with a socialist or labour ethos. From the late nineteenth century, its aim was to improve living and working conditions for blue-collar workers and their families, and was organised around national trade union…

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