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. 


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…

Ship and habour workers in Kaskö harbour in the 1920s. Photo: finna.fi, CC BY 4.0.

2020.04.16 | Outlook, Sami M Outinen, Public policy, Economy

The Nordic response to the Great Depression – an economic approach to the Corona crisis?

A look back at how Sweden and Finland dealt with two key crises in the twentieth century may be enlightening during the current Corona crisis. Firstly, the depression in 1930s, which led to Keynesian interventionalism - with some key differences - brought with it a series of steps throughout the following decades in both countries. Secondly, the…

J. R. R. Tolkien drew on Nordic folklore in his work, having a profound impact on how people imagine dwarves, elves and so on, the visual and vocal representations of which have been supplemented by  Hollywood productions. Photo: Perrie Nicholas Smith (Gimli Son of Gloin, CC BY-SA 4.0).

2020.03.24 | Article, Frog, Culture, Reputation

Folklore in the Nordic countries

Folklore is a phenomenon found in all cultures. Falling under the umbrella of what is now called ‘intangible cultural heritage’ by UNESCO, it encompasses everything from Finnish improvisational rap and medieval eddic poetry to internet memes or wearing a crown of candles on St Lucia’s day. Nordic folklore research has played a significant role in…

Stefan Jarl in 2013. Photo: Mikael Ringlander. Wikimedia Commons CC BY, Public Domain.

2020.03.11 | Biography, Lars Gustaf Andersson, The arts

Stefan Jarl (b. 1941)

Stefan Jarl is one of the most important and influential documentarists in contemporary Swedish cinema. Stefan Jarl was born in 1941 in Skara. From a left-wing perspective, he has highlighted social and environmental problems. Jarl has promoted the documentary as an art form, and from 1995 to 2005 he was curator of the ‘Little film festival’ in…

Jarl Kulle getting ready for the stage, 1960. Source: Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

2020.03.01 | Biography, Lars Gustaf Andersson, The arts

Jarl Kulle 1927-1997

The Swedish actor Jarl Kulle was a distinguished and popular actor working in a wide range of genres from children’s film to the cinema of Ingmar Bergman. He was born in Rebbelberga, Skåne, in 1927.

Finland's position on arms exports since the Cold War has been influenced by, amongst other things, its national economy, human rights issues and its own security position, particularly given its geographical position. Photo: Colourbox.dk

2020.02.21 | Article, Tuuli Veikkanen, The Nordics in the World, Reputation

An introduction to Nordic arms exports since 1990, with a focus on Finland

All Nordic countries, excluding Iceland, have exported weapons to countries involved in armed conflicts or violating human rights during the post-Cold War period. As Nordic countries often speak for peace and humanitarian work in the international arena, their arms exports have repeatedly drawn criticism. However, Nordic countries have also been…

The painting Hip Hip Hurrah by Peder Severin Krøyer was the inspiration for Kjell Grede's film of the same name. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

2020.02.21 | Biography, Lars Gustaf Andersson, The arts

Kjell Grede 1936 -­ 2017

The Swedish film director Kjell Grede made a significant contribution to film and television from 1967 to 1990s, heading the Dramatic Institute in Stockholm for nearly a decade.

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