Knowledge on the Nordics

Information & critical analysis on the Nordic countries

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Visual interpretations of disability on stamps issued by the Nordic governments for the International Year of Disabled Persons in 1981. Collage: Author.

2021.01.22 | Article, Anna Derksen, Public policy

Disability policies and movements in the Nordic countries since 1945

During the last century, the situation of people with disabilities in the Nordic welfare states has changed dramatically. For a long time disability was regarded as an issue for the national welfare services, which had a marginalizing effect from a legal point of view, characterized by medical diagnostics, accommodation in mass institutions and…

Can traits from the conquering Vikings be found in modern capitalism? Photo: York Archaeological Trust.

2021.01.14 | Podcast, Richard Cole, Reputation, Business

Podcast: The Vikings and Capitalism

In the ninth century, the word ”viking” in many parts of Europe would have conjured up a terrifying image of violent maurauders teeming forth from their longships and inflicting unspeakable carnage. Today, the word ”viking” is invoked in all sorts of contexts, from underwear and hand-dryer brands to the fantasies of business and management leaders…

The statue 'I am Queen Mary' was created by the two artists La Vaughn Belle and Jeannette Ehlers, and erected in Copenhagen in 2018. Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.

2021.01.07 | Article, Niels Brimnes, Governance, Nation building

The colonialism of Denmark-Norway and its legacies

Overshadowed by British and French Imperialism, the small-scale colonialism of some of the Nordic countries can all too easily be downplayed. From the 19th century, the self-image of the Nordic countries as a group of small, neutral nations has probably perpetuated this misconception. However, Denmark-Norway engaged in a variety of colonial…

Sally Salminen, probably taken at a handicraft exhibition shortly after the publication of Katrina and her breakthrough on to the literary scene. Source: Museiverket. CC BY 4.0

2020.12.28 | Article, Sally Salminen, Ulrika Gustafsson, Paul Larkin, Literature

Sally Salminen and her work

In 1936 the Finland-Swedish writer Sally Salminen won a literary prize for her first novel 'Katrina' which saw her life change. That someone like her, unknown and from the working class, could write such a good book was a global sensation - she was a living example of the American dream. From then on, she could stop working as a maid and become…

Photo: Yadid Levy / Norden.org, (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

2020.12.22 | Article, Anna Derksen, Minorities, The Nordics in the World

Transnational interactions of Nordic disability activism, 1980-2000

In 1981, the United Nations International Year of Disabled Persons (IYDP) shed new light on the global situation of people with disabilities with the slogan ‘full participation and equality’. Based on a longer history of Nordic disability rights activism since the 1960s and the assumption that equal rights of disabled people had by and large…