Outlooks

The outlooks section gives a voice to readers who have a legitimate response to what they have read on nordics.info or elsewhere on the Nordic region. It is primarily aimed at:

(1) researchers who wish to contextualise or critically explore an issue from a particular or innovative angle; and,

(2) researchers and others whose perspectives are often under-represented or overlooked in research.

This section is based on the recognition that exclusively research-based information can sometimes reflect hidden power dynamics and lead to more qualitative perspectives being overlooked. These may be, for example, voices from underrepresented groups or innovative, interdisciplinary angles. With respect to style and form, this section mirrors that of ‘Articles’ above, but allows greater scope for opinion and individual perspective. 

If you can't find what you are looking for, click on a category or use the search function.

The official logo of the Tough Viking Race, the largest Nordic Obstacle Race with participants ranging from elite athletes to regular men and women (Permission for use: the Tough Viking Race).

2021.03.24 | Outlook, Barbora Žiačková, Saga Rosenström, Gender

Pop culture, Vikings and historic Nordic gender equality?

Gender equality is a fundamental part of the Nordic brand, and right-wing political actors as well as extremists use ideas of gender equality in support of anti-immigrant and racist agendas. The pop culture image of Viking women as ‘independent’ and ‘equal to men’ provides one way in which gender equality as an aspect of Nordicness has gained…

The Northern lights, closeness to nature...the Nordic region has long had a persistent presence in the European imagination, but what is the 'Nordic'? And isn't it really characterised by the ability to change? Photo: Andrew Gook, unsplash.

2021.02.09 | Outlook, Peter Aronsson, Region-building, Reputation

The power of Nordic culture to transform Nordic history

The real or imagined cultural history of the Nordic countries (taken individually, in small groups or in their entirety) is a useful tool not to be disregarded lightly. The assets of Nordicity can be seen from varying perspectives, including the anthropological, ideological and the political. But the path of Nordic culture needs to be trodden with…

History can be many things. Even the most well-established works of history are written with a certain focus, disregarding some narratives while highlighting others. The same goes for TV productions, museum exhibitions, and all the many other ways in which history is used. Photo: Colourbox.

2020.12.10 | Outlook, Niels Kayser Nielsen, Media, Culture

Uses of Nordic history

The 'use of history' is the term used to denote a combination of selecting, emphasising and overlooking people, events and epochs taken from history. These aspects are to be found in the pool of historical knowledge that we share and are usually identified with the intention of promoting certain interests. In the Nordics, as elsewhere, these…

Biden needed to distance himself from Bernie Sanders's references to Scandinavian democratic socialism. Photo: Markus Spiske on unsplash.

2020.11.09 | Outlook, Byron Zachary Rom-Jensen, Carl Marklund, Reputation

Vanishing Scandinavian "socialism" in the 2020 US election

Scandinavian “socialism” has been oddly absent from the final stages of the recent US election. It is possible to trace the arguments for and against ‘Scandinavian’ policies of different kinds in the American left and right from the 2016 election campaign until recently. However, the “socialism” that both the American right and left previously…

The Nordic and their various models function in the American political imaginary as blank screens upon which politicians and pundits project justifications for their own versions of the American dream. Photo: CHUTTERSNAP on unsplash (modified).

2020.10.02 | Outlook, Oana Godeanu-Kenworthy, Democracy, Governance, The Nordics in the World

Imagining Nordicity in the American political discourse

The Nordic region is frequently presented in the American media as prosperous and business-friendly, as well as allowing for extensive welfare benefits. US media coverage often positions one or more of the Nordic countries between the monolithic and highly politicized understandings of ‘socialism’ and ‘capitalism’ – with the many shades of mixed…

Will the welfare services of Denmark, Finland, Norway & Sweden weather the economic crisis resulting from covid-19? Photo: distinctive Norwegian coin, Børge Sandnes, colourbox.dk.

2020.05.11 | Outlook, Ilkka Kärrylä, Public policy, Economy

Nordic public debt: the dangers of restricting public spending due to the covid-19 crisis

The prevailing economic doctrine in the Nordics and Europe has it that, the lower the public debt, the more room there is for economic stimulation in downturns, such as the current covid-19 crisis. Denmark, Norway and Sweden with their comparatively low levels of public debt were able to announce relatively large economic crisis packages fairly…

Ship and habour workers in Kaskö harbour in the 1920s. Photo: finna.fi, CC BY 4.0.

2020.04.16 | Outlook, Sami M Outinen, Public policy, Economy

The Nordic response to the Great Depression – an economic approach to the Corona crisis?

A look back at how Sweden and Finland dealt with two key crises in the twentieth century may be enlightening during the current Corona crisis. Firstly, the depression in 1930s, which led to Keynesian interventionalism - with some key differences - brought with it a series of steps throughout the following decades in both countries. Secondly, the…

Varying histories and democratic traditions are perhaps some of the reasons why Denmark, Finland and Norway have reacted differently to covid-19 - and why Sweden has had a completely distinctive approach. (Note that this map only shows the Nordic countries referred to in the article.) Photo: colourbox.dk.

2020.04.06 | Outlook, Johan Strang, Public policy, Nation building

Why do the Nordic countries react differently to the covid-19 crisis?

Given the striking similarity of the Nordic societies, it is interesting to note how differently some of them have reacted to the current covid-19 crisis. For example, Denmark and Norway were quick to implement a work and school lockdown and close their borders. In contrast, Sweden has raised international interest with a comparatively lax…

The disease of contemporary democracy can be summarised in the famous words of Gramsci: “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear”. Photo: Elvis Bekmanis, Unsplash.

2020.02.12 | Outlook, Monica Quirico, Democracy, Nation building

Democracy in the shadow of populism - a Nordic way out?

The “Nordic model” is often presented as a solution to the dominance of neoliberalism and the rise of populism. Populist tendencies within the region, including the reclaiming of nationalist identities and anti-immigration and anti-globalisation sentiment, can often be overlooked by outside observers. Whereas elsewhere economic crises encourage …

The balance of competition and cooperation/justice within the Nordic model may soon be pushed too much towards the former. Photo: Cindy Tang, Unsplash.

2019.12.10 | Outlook, Atle Midttun, Nina Witoszek, Nation building, Research

Is the Norwegian model in danger?

In the first decades of the 21st century, some Norwegian commentators have been calling for an increased emphasis on commercial competition in Norwegian business and education, and an increased focus on profits as a measure of relevance and utility. This trend poses a threat to the social welfare model in Norway as it is traditionally construed. …

Showing results 1 to 10 of 12

1 2 Next