Uncovering the Nordic Region with Mary Hilson and Peter Stadius

Listen to a podcast on hot topics in current academic research on the Nordic region today include welfare, colonialism and heterogeneity.

Hot topics in current academic research on the Nordic region include welfare, colonialism and heterogeneity. These – as well as a host of other issues - have been the main themes of the podcast series ‘The Nordics Uncovered: Critical Voices from the Region’ and form the subject of this podcast.

In the final podcast of the series, editor of nordics.info, Nicola Witcombe, is joined by two historians: Mary Hilson is Professor of History at Aarhus University in Denmark and author of the well-known book 'The Nordic Model: Scandinavia since 1945'. Peter Stadius is Research Director at the Centre for Nordic Studies at Helsinki University, and his research interests span regionalism, the Arctic and images of the North in other countries. Their conversation takes in:

  • Traditional histories versus new perspectives.
  • The cooperative movement in the Nordic countries.
  • A Europe of Regions e.g. the Oresund.
  • The rise of nationalism.
  • Finnish colonialism.

All the participants are members of the cross-Nordic university hub Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World, which is supported by NordForsk. Mary and Peter spoke with Nicola spoke over Zoom in June 2021.


Some of the people, works and places mentioned this podcast:

  • Alexander Foss (1858-1925) (Danish politician and one of the founders of the Nordic Association).
  • Elanto, the Helsinki consumer co-operative.
  • Kooperativa Förbundet (KF) – the Swedish (consumer) Co-operative Union founded in 1899.
  • 'Kvinde Kend Din Historie' (Woman Know Your History) - book in Danish by Gry Jexen.
  • Luma – brand name for lightbulbs developed in 1920s by the Swedish Co-operative Union.
  • Øresund/Öresund region.
  • Marquis Childs, Sweden: The Middle Way (published first in 1936).
  • Petsamo, Finland.
  • Tornio, Finland.

Further reading:

  • Bo Stråth and Øystein Sørensen, The Cultural Construction of Norden (Oslo 1997).
  • Ilkka Kärrylä, Democracy and the Economy in Finland and Sweden since 1960: A Nordic Perspective on Neoliberalism (Palgrave Macmillan, in press, 2021).
  • Johan Strang, ed. Nordic Cooperation: A European Region in Transition (London: Routledge, 2016).
  • Jani Marjanen, Johan Strang and Mary Hilson, eds., Contesting Nordicness from Scandinavianism to the Nordic Brand(Berlin: Oldenbourg De Gruyter, forthcoming December 2021). 
  • Jenny Andersson, The future of the world: futurology, futurists, and the struggle for the post cold war imagination (Oxford University Press, 2018).
  • Mary Hilson, The International Co-operative Alliance and the Consumer Co-operative Movement in Northern Europe, c. 1860-1939 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018).
  • Peter Stadius, P. (2018). Scandinavia: Regionalism in the Shadow of Strong States. In: X. M. Núñez Seixas, & E. Storm, eds., Regionalism and Modern Europe: Identity Construction and Movements from 1890 to the Present Day (T & T Clark, 2018) pp. 193-212.