Imagining Norden - branding and Nordic reputation:

Imagining Norden - branding and Nordic reputation

Perceptions of the Nordics abound, from the reputation of the Nordic welfare state to that of interior design. Content on this page seeks to examine the construction and deconstruction of the different 'brands' of the region; why, when, where and how the region, its individual countries, its way of life, what it produces etc are branded. New articles are added regularly. 


Can traits from the conquering Vikings be found in modern capitalism? Photo: York Archaeological Trust.

2021.01.14 | Podcast, Richard Cole, Reputation, Business

Podcast: The Vikings and Capitalism

In the ninth century, the word ”viking” in many parts of Europe would have conjured up a terrifying image of violent maurauders teeming forth from their longships and inflicting unspeakable carnage. Today, the word ”viking” is invoked in all sorts of contexts, from underwear and hand-dryer brands to the fantasies of business and management leaders…

2020.12.15 | Podcast, Sally Salminen, The arts

Podcast: Is Daddy coming home for Christmas?

Listen to a short story by Sally Salminen in either English or Danish! This podcast is part of a series where existing material on nordics.info is read out in assorted languages by colleagues and friends. Great for learning Danish or English. / Lyt til en historie af Sally Salminen på engelsk eller dansk! Denne podcast er del af en serie af…

Tegning af en pige, der går på sine tåspidser af kunstner Adolf von Becker. Photo: Finna.fi

2020.11.16 | Original sources, Sally Salminen, The arts, Literature

Kommer Far hjem til Jul? Af Sally Salminen

Introduction: I 1944 udgav den berømte finsk-svenske romanforfatter Sally Salminen ’Kommer far hjem til jul?’ som en novelle i magasinet Juleroser. Salminen fik sin berømmelse efter at have vundet en finsk-svensk litteraturpris i 1936 for sin roman Katrina. Hendes berømmelse var måske ikke blot grundet romanens kvalitet og store appel,…

Drawing of a girl walking on the tip of her toes by artist Adolf von Becker. Photo: finna.fi

2020.11.16 | Original sources, Sally Salminen, Paul Larkin, The arts, Literature

Is Daddy coming home for Christmas? By Sally Salminen

Introduction: In 1944, 'Juleroser' ('Christmas Roses') magazine published  the renowned Finland-Swedish novelist Sally Salminen's short story 'Kommer far hjem til jul?' (’Is Daddy coming home for Christmas?’). Salminen had shot to fame after winning a Finnish-Swedish literary prize in 1936 for her novel Katrina. Her celebrity status…

Biden needed to distance himself from Bernie Sanders's references to Scandinavian democratic socialism. Photo: Markus Spiske on unsplash.

2020.11.09 | Outlook, Byron Zachary Rom-Jensen, Carl Marklund, Reputation

Vanishing Scandinavian "socialism" in the 2020 US election

Scandinavian “socialism” has been oddly absent from the final stages of the recent US election. It is possible to trace the arguments for and against ‘Scandinavian’ policies of different kinds in the American left and right from the 2016 election campaign until recently. However, the “socialism” that both the American right and left previously…

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

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.

Even companies that are dependent on fossil fuels are beginning to consider alternative ways of working. While national and international regulation helps, some are doing it voluntarily. Photo: Windmills, Lapland, Sweden. NN-norden.org, Johannes Jansson. CC BY-SA 4.0.

2020.06.23 | Article, Cornelia Fast, Julia Grimm, Naghmeh Nasiritousi, Business, Research

Addressing climate change the Nordic way: Motives of Swedish companies for taking action

It is Sweden’s goal to become one of the world’s first fossil fuel free welfare states, and many Swedish companies are voluntarily working to reduce their climate impact. The reasons for this are manifold; they primarily involve risk management, a sense of responsibility, management of reputation, and addressing the demands of various…

Car manufacturing in a Valmet Automotive body shop in Finland. Photo: Media, Valmet Automotive.

2020.06.11 | Article, Zhen Im, Business, Public policy, Research

Nordic workers vulnerable due to automation: an introduction

Widespread economic transformations, such as increasing automation, tend to negatively affect some groups more than others in the Nordic countries, as elsewhere. Workers who risk losing their jobs to machines or other means are a societal concern; it is, after all, not their fault that society is changing. Importantly, not only are these workers…

Will the welfare services of Denmark, Finland, Norway & Sweden weather the economic crisis resulting from covid-19? Photo: distinctive Norwegian coin, Børge Sandnes, colourbox.dk.

2020.05.11 | Outlook, Ilkka Kärrylä, Public policy, Economy

Nordic public debt: the dangers of restricting public spending due to the covid-19 crisis

The prevailing economic doctrine in the Nordics and Europe has it that, the lower the public debt, the more room there is for economic stimulation in downturns, such as the current covid-19 crisis. Denmark, Norway and Sweden with their comparatively low levels of public debt were able to announce relatively large economic crisis packages fairly…

At its completion in 2000, the bridge was advertised by a massive half-marathon, and on 1 July the King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustav and the Queen of Denmark Margrethe inaugurated it in a widely-broadcast event that was central to showcasing the tangible success of the transnational cooperation. Photo: The first Broloppet/Broløbet half-marathon where around 80,000 people took part. Courtesy of Øresundsbro Konsortiet.

2020.04.21 | Article, Francesco Zavatti, The Borders of the Nordics, Cooperation, Architecture & design

A short history of the Oresund Bridge

A globally renowned icon, the bridge is in fact part rail/road bridge and part tunnel spanning the Oresund (or ‘The Sound’) between Denmark and Sweden. It was completed in 2000, but it has a rather long and convoluted history. It is a symbol of many and sometimes opposing things: Nordic cooperation in the economy and engineering, as well as the…

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