The Quick Read

This is a list of all 'Quick Reads' in the order they were published. Quick Reads are intended to provide quick, evidence-based information on a particular topic. They are generally short, encyclopaedic entries of about 1000 words on, for example, specific, named companies, brands, organisations, themes within a subject area etc, or entries on particular terms used in Nordic languages which are not necessarily easily to translate without further discussion. To customise your search, use the 'category' buttons, or the search function.

A drawing of the class division of society, which was published in 'Arbeider-Foreningernes Blad', with Marcus Thrane as editor and publisher, 4 May 1850. Photo: unknown/Arbeiderbevegelsens arkiv og bibliotek.

2021.07.26 | The Quick Read, Jan Eivind Myhre, Democracy

The emergence of Norwegian civil society in the 19th century

Voluntary organisations were a new and important phenomenon in Norway in the nineteenth century and included many different types of associations, unions and clubs. Among other things, they functioned as places to learn about democracy for the wider population.

The oldest Finnish speaking professional theatre is the Finnish National Theatre, established in 1872 in Helsinki. Photo: Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia

2021.07.20 | The Quick Read, Helena Forsås-Scott, Culture, Literature

Drama in Finland

Theatre is a dynamic medium in the Nordic countries, and the many plays written and produced, especially since the 1960s, have been characterised by innovation and experimentation. This is the first Quick Read on drama in the Nordics which focuses on Finland. Articles on the other Nordic countries are to follow.

Front book cover of the book 'Det moderne gennembruds kvinder' (1983) [The Women of the Modern Breakthrough] written by Pil Dahlerup. Photo: Permission to use cover kindly granted by Gyldendal.

2021.07.13 | The Quick Read, Helena Forsås-Scott, Literature, Gender

Literary criticism in the Nordics, postwar to today

Literary work and issues pertaining to it were rooted in the historical-biographical tradition following the Second World War in the Nordics. Danish linguist Louis Hjelmslev's work helped paved the way for structuralism which came to prominence in the 1960s, when the wider debate on the role of literature in education and society also began to…

Gustav Wentzel's painting "Emigrants" from 1903, an iconic depiction of Norwegian emigration. (Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons).

2021.06.09 | The Quick Read, Jan Eivind Myhre, Culture, The Borders of the Nordics, University of Oslo

Population movement to and within Norway, 1830-1914

From the 1830s to the 1920s about 800,000 Norwegians emigrated, mostly to America. There is less general awareness of the fact that between 100,000 and 200,000 people immigrated to Norway during the second half of the 19th century. The migrants came largely from Sweden, but also from other parts of Europe. Moreover, the population was on the move…

The Danish flag, the Dannebrog, is often perceived as being important to Danish culture. Photo: Colourbox.

2021.04.23 | The Quick Read, Pirzada Junaid Ahmad, Culture

The Dannebrog in Danish culture

Denmark exhibits a unique culture where the national flag, known by its local name 'Dannebrog', has become an everyday symbol used by Danes. In addition to official functions and ceremonies, Danes use their national flag for birthday parties, graduation ceremonies, advertisements and decorations, among many other occasions. Although personal use…

The Women Citizens’ College at Fogelstad in Sweden (1925-54) was an exceptional space for the development of radical thinking on women and children, peace, and the environment. Picture: 'Fogelstadgruppen' or the Fogelstad group (Public Domain/Wikipedia).

2021.03.08 | The Quick Read, Helena Forsås-Scott, Gender

Feminism in the Nordics: An historical overview to 1990

Feminism in the Nordics began in the second half of the 19th century with the struggle for female suffrage. The development of the welfare state in the era following the Second World War provided the political stability to allow feminist ideas to grow, but equality was far from being reached. While many key pieces of literature and feminist…

The Old Stock Exchange ('Børsen') in Copenhagen, Denmark, which was one of the many buildings built during the reign of Christian IV. Photo: Colourbox.

2020.12.02 | The Quick Read, Michael Nobel Hviid, Nation building, Branding, Aarhus University

Christian IV and the use of history

Christian IV (1577-1648), who ruled Denmark and its possessions from 1588-1648, is probably the most famous - and infamous - king in the history of Denmark. On the one hand, he is known as the longest reigning monarch, as the patron and creator of some of the country's most significant and spectacular buildings. On the other hand, he is also known…

Christian II, king of Denmark and Norway 1513-1523 and Sweden 1520-1521. Painting by Michel Sittow, 1514-1515. Public Domain (CCO 1.0)

2020.11.03 | The Quick Read, Martin Alm, Nation building, Reputation, Aarhus University

Christian II's legacy in Sweden and Denmark

Christian II (1481-1559) ruled Denmark and Norway from 1513 to 1523 as well as Sweden for some of that time, from 1520 to 1521. In Sweden he has been remembered as the instigator of a bloody massacre, whereas in Denmark he has been lauded as a supporter of the poor against the aristocracy.

An overview of the European Reigning Sovereigns and Principal Royals in 1860. Denmark and Sweden are represented in the lower left corner. Photo: Nina Heins, Stiftelsen Nordiska museet (digitaltmuseum.se). CC BY-NC-ND.

2020.09.14 | The Quick Read, Byron J. Nordstrom, Governance

Nordic monarchies

The political systems in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have evolved over centuries of development as hereditary, ‘democratic,’ constitutional monarchies. (Finland and Iceland are presidential republics.) Today the powers of the crown in these countries are strictly circumscribed, and the duties of the Nordic monarchs largely involve public relations…

Signing of the saltsjöbaden agreement in 1938. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.

2020.08.17 | The Quick Read, Byron J. Nordstrom, Governance

Sweden’s Saltsjöbaden Agreement

The Saltsjöbaden Agreement was a very influential collective bargaining agreement between employers and employees that was reached in 1938, and a key building block to labor market relations under the long-standing social democrat rule throughout much of the 20th century. Perhaps surprisingly, it is largely based on the parties organizing…

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