Denmark: Uncovering Nordic Collectivism with Cathie Jo Martin

Listen to a podcast on Denmark's collective mindset within education from an historical perspective.

Examples of a collective mindset include: Denmark’s introduction of the earliest mass education system in the world in 1814. Nordic social democracy in the 20th century had full employment as a key aim. Different national organisations which represent employers on the one side and workers on the other (the social partners) have managed industrial disputes and informed policy-making for over 100 years.

American political scientist Cathie Jo Martin, Professor at the University of Boston, guides us through these examples as well as others. She has decades’ worth of experience in comparing particularly Denmark to other countries, and she sheds light on approaches to collectivism and individualism through her particular historical and political point of view.

Listen to this podcast if you are interested in:

  • How social investment and a collective mindset has been discernable in Denmark since the 19th century – and whether this still applies today;
  • The greater emphasis on vocational training than in other countries e.g. the UK;
  • Conflict resolution in industrial relations;
  • Neoliberalism and the perception of the Nordics in the US.

Join the editor of, Nicola Witcombe, on her sixth virtual visit around the Nordic countries in the podcast series ’The Nordics Uncovered: Critical Voices from the Region’. Cathie and Nicola spoke over Zoom in March 2021.


Some of the items mentioned in this podcast:

Further reading: