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.

The Danish flag, the Dannebrog, is 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…

A picture from Seta's (Finnish LGBT rights organisation) magazine in 1976. Source: Seta's archive.

2020.03.30 | The Quick Read, Ásta Kristín Benediktsdóttir, Elsi Hyttinen, Hafdís Erla Hafsteinsdóttir , Riikka Taavetti, Tuula Juvonen, Íris Ellenberger, Minorities, Gender, University of Iceland

Uncovering intra-Nordic queer migration in the 20th century

The view of the Nordic countries today as a place where LGBTIQ individuals and communities can enjoy equality overlooks intra-Nordic variation as well as the complicated histories found in the region. This variation has been a motivation for migration within the Nordics. Much migration, such as from Finland to Sweden and Iceland to Denmark,…

The Danish colony consisted of three main islands St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. The map above was created by Captain Joseph Smith Speer in 1796. Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.

2020.03.12 | The Quick Read, Nicola Witcombe, The Nordics in the World, Globalisation, Aarhus University

The 1878 Fireburn uprising in the Danish West Indies

Even after the abolition of slavery in 1848, conditions for workers in the plantations of the Danish West Indies were not much improved. This led to unrest and the Fireburn uprising on St. Croix in 1878. The precise events during the uprising have been little studied, partly due to the court and other records being in Danish. The uprising has…

Picture of a globe with Norway highlighted and two arrows going east and west

2020.02.06 | The Quick Read, Helge Ø. Pharo, The Nordics in the World, Globalisation, University of Oslo

Norway, the West and the Soviet Union, 1944-48

The term ’bridge-building’ is often used to describe Norwegian foreign policy from the tail end of the Second World War until Norway's turn to the West in early 1948. Even though the term is ambiguous at best, it now occupies an established place in Norwegian historiography, and reflects the perceived position of Norway between East and West in…

A magazine cover from the Swedish disability rights movement’s umbrella organisation for international development work in 1991. Photo: Reproduced with kind permission from My Right.

2020.01.21 | The Quick Read, Anna Derksen, The Nordics in the World, Globalisation

Disability, development and the Nordics, 1960s-2000

Nordic disability organizations have been carrying out development projects in the Global South since the 1960s. Initially a preventive and rehabilitative approach was taken with, for example, a focus on schools for special education, vocational training and medical care. Although important, this type of aid became increasingly seen as…

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