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 Svalbard Seed Vault by night. Photo: Mari Tefre/Global Crop Diversity Trust (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 - photo lighter than original).

2019.03.14 | The Quick Read, Ann Legreid, Region-building, Reputation

Arctic region

The Arctic is a circumpolar region centered on the North Pole, home to diverse human populations, landscapes, vegetation, and wildlife. The climate is harsh supporting a fairly restricted range of occupations, including fishing and hunting, service industries and resource development.

Longyearbyen, March 2018. Photo: Dina Brode-Roger.

2019.03.04 | The Quick Read, Dina Brode-Roger, Literature, Region-building

The Arctic Imaginary

Few have been there and yet everyone has some image of what the Arctic is. For most people, it conjures up images of an extreme environment, white and cold. Or more recently, one of giant ice floes melting away as the impacts of climate change are felt twice as fast near the poles as anywhere else. Although these images may be grounded in some…

Cover from the book The Sun, My Father by Nils-Aslak Valkeapää. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

2019.03.01 | The Quick Read, John Weinstock, Culture, Minorities

Yoiking, a Sami musical expression

Yoik is the native Sami musical expression which is reminiscent of singing. It has layers of meaning as it holds identity markers and was traditionally very significant in how social interaction took place within Sami communities (and still is to a certain extent). It also had more practical purposes, such as calming reindeer.

Sundbyberg's folk high school in Sweden. Photo: Wikimedia, CC0.

2019.03.01 | The Quick Read, Kyle Frackman, Education, Democracy

Nordic folk high schools

Folk high schools are institutions which provide general and vocational education for young people and adults. Based on the philosophy of Danish educator, pastor, and religious revivalist N.F.S. Grundtvig (1783-1872), the first school was founded in Denmark in 1844, but the concept spread to other Nordic countries in the following decades. There…

2019.02.28 | The Quick Read, Robert A. Saunders, Nordic Noír, Media

The smart phone in Nordic noir TV series

The mobile phone, and more specifically the ‘smart’ phone, has emerged as a key visual, dramaturgical and narrative element of Nordic noir television over the past decade. The smart phone represents an integral part of the crime-solving toolkit, whether its user is an obsessive police officer, a nosy reporter, a witness or a (potential) victim.

The Himlastegen - or Heaven Steps - in Katrineholm, Sweden which allowed people to safely cross the railway tracks. Photo: Taken in 1950. From a leaflet in Swedish on folkhem by www.sormlandsmuseum.se.

2019.02.25 | The Quick Read, Norbert Götz, Democracy, Nation building

Folkhem

Folkhem, literally meaning ‘people’s home’, is a Swedish term for what is otherwise designated as the Swedish welfare state or the Swedish model. It is even used and discussed in the context of the Nordic welfare state or the Nordic political model, and related ideas are prominent throughout the region (e.g. folkelighed, i.e. popular culture, in…

Norwegian author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson receives the Nobel prize from the hands of king Oscar II in 1904.

2019.02.25 | The Quick Read, Jenny Rood, Juliette Victor, Culture, Reputation

Nobel Prizes

The idea and funds for the Nobel prizes originated in the will of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel who died in 1901. Recipients can be both individuals and organisation. Categories are Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace and recipients are selected by various committees based at institutions in Sweden and, in the…

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.

Dag Hammarskjöld, the second Secretary General of the United Nations in front of its headquarters.

2019.02.22 | The Quick Read, Norbert Götz, Globalisation, The Nordics in the World

United Nations and the Nordic countries

The principles and aims of the United Nations resonate in the Nordic countries, which are small welfare states with an appreciation of international law, solidarity and multilateral problem-solving. From the time of the League of Nations (the precursor to the United Nations) to the 1990s, the Nordic region developed and operated a caucusing and…

The premises of the independent social research foundation FAFO, Borggata 2b, Oslo, Norway. FAFO helped to secretly organise the talks preceding the Oslo Accords. Photo: FAFO

2019.02.22 | The Quick Read, Norbert Götz, Globalisation, The Nordics in the World

Internationalism and the Nordic countries

The internationalism of the Nordic countries is characterised by a general commitment to international institutions and law, agenda-setting and bridge-building between North and South, East and West alike. The Nordic countries traditionally provide high levels of development aid. These and other characteristics have elicited diverse responses,…

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