Nordic cooperation and region building:

Nordic cooperation and region building

This page provides articles about the formal bodies of the Nordic region, such as the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers, and the many interesting and diverse informal and unofficial networks that are perhaps less easy to identify. While acknowledging the similarities and a common history that binds the region together, it is not intended that internal variation and complexity be overlooked. New articles are added regularly.


Lill-Ann Körber is Professor of Nordic literature, media and culture at Aarhus University.

2021.03.30 | Podcast, Lill-Ann Körber, Region-building, Culture

Uncovering the Legacies of Nordic Colonialism with Lill-Ann Körber

Studying culture – high or low, images or text, written or otherwise, and in many different manifestations – can sometimes reveal things which other more formal sources cannot. Lill-Ann Körber is Professor of Nordic literature, media and culture at Aarhus University and has a background in literature and art history within Scandinavian Studies.…

The Northern lights, closeness to nature...the Nordic region has long had a persistent presence in the European imagination, but what is the 'Nordic'? And isn't it really characterised by the ability to change? Photo: Andrew Gook, unsplash.

2021.02.09 | Outlook, Peter Aronsson, Region-building, Reputation

The power of Nordic culture to transform Nordic history

The real or imagined cultural history of the Nordic countries (taken individually, in small groups or in their entirety) is a useful tool not to be disregarded lightly. The assets of Nordicity can be seen from varying perspectives, including the anthropological, ideological and the political. But the path of Nordic culture needs to be trodden with…

2020.07.17 | Film, Byron Zachary Rom-Jensen, Region-building, Nation building, Public policy

Film: The Nordic Model: A Complex Concept

The Nordic Model’ is a concept that appears frequently in scholarship, media reports, and public debates to refer to the socio-political organization and progressive values of the Nordic countries. While the concept has been applied since at least the 1980s, it lacks a standard definition and thus is open to variation and alteration. The term has…

Helsingør in Denmark is only 6 km from the coast of Sweden & sits on the Oresund, a narrow strait for ships that have travelled to/from the Baltic sea for centuries. Picture:colourbox.

2020.07.07 | Podcast, Anders Ravn Sørensen, Kazimierz Musiał, Larisa Kangaspuro, Lizaveta Dubinka-Hushcha, Mads Mordhorst, Michael Bennedsen-Hansen, Nicola Witcombe, Norbert Götz, Nation building

Podcast: The Nordics and Identity

From the outside, it is assumed that the populations of the Nordic countries are fairly homogeneous and that there is a relatively high level of gender equality and acceptance of different sexualities and diversity. In short, identity is not much of a problem. On closer examination, however, there are similar tendencies to elsewhere, such as more…

The website nordics.info is based at Aarhus University and is a part of the University Hub Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World (ReNEW).

2020.05.20 | Podcast, Simon Mølholm Olesen, The Borders of the Nordics, Region-building

Podcast: The Danish decolonisation of Greenland, 1945-54

Listen to an account of the Danish decolonisation of Greenland 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 historien om Grøndlands afkolonialisering på engelsk eller dansk! Denne…

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…

"Union state? No Thanks!" stated on an election poster from the Popular Movement Against EU (Folkebevægelsen mod EU) in connection with the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. Photo: Kjeld Albrechtsen, Folkebevægelsen mod EU.

2020.02.25 | Article, Lizaveta Dubinka-Hushcha, The Nordics in the World, Region-building

An overview of Denmark and its integration with Europe, 1940s to the Maastricht Treaty in 1993

Denmark has been a cautious participant of European supranational integration since the Second World War, evaluating the pros and cons of integration, and making the decision to ‘opt in’ when there were benefits. The driving force behind Denmark's accession to the EEC was the desire to become part of an open European economy, rather than support…

2019.12.17 | Film, Nicola Witcombe, Branding, Region-building, The Nordic Model

Film: Why talk about the Nordics as a region?

Are the Nordic countries really that similar to one another? - Or different from the rest of the world? Is discussion of 'the Nordics' simply a branding exercise, or can it be a useful analytical lens? Join Nicola Witcombe, the editor of nordics.info, in a brief exploration of the some of the ways people talk about the Nordics. This is the first…

Politician Einar Gerhardsen was leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister from 1945-1951, and 1955-1965. Photo: Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0.

2019.11.22 | Article, Helge Ø. Pharo, Cooperation, Region-building

Nordic Cooperation 1947 – 1960: a Norwegian perspective

Immediately before and after the Nordic Council was founded in 1952, there was much debate over what form cooperation should take amongst the Scandinavian/Nordic countries, primarily with respect to the economy and defence. Norway’s attempts to support a customs union/common market in 1947, 1950 and 1954 belied its repeated blocking of initiatives…

Plans for a Nordic common market in 1960s were ultimately abandoned in 1970. Photo: NN norden.org.

2019.11.13 | The Quick Read, Peter Yding Brunbech, Cooperation, Region-building

Nordic Economic Union (NORDEK): a Danish perspective

The NORDEK plan (so called due to the Swedish name for Nordic Economic Union (NORDiskt EKonomiskt samarbete)) grew out of a Danish initiative to create a Nordic common market. The plan attracted much attention in the years 1967-70. It was the last serious attempt to create a comprehensive Nordic political and economic organisation of cooperation.…

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