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.


Family photo taken in 1944 in Helsingfors Finland. After the Second World War, smaller nuclear families became more widespread as a societal model. Photo: Helsingfors Stadsmuseum. CC-BY-4.0

2020.06.03 | Article, Byron J. Nordstrom, Labour markets

An overview of population trends in the Nordic countries since the Second World War

The Nordic countries have seen a number of important changes to their populations since the end of World War II. Perhaps most notable among these are growth, increased diversity, and gradual aging. Labour migration has also played a role and detailed people registers mean that research of all kinds can be undertaken with accessible and…

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…

The Ingrian flag.

2020.04.28 | Article, Nicholas Prindiville, Governance, The Borders of the Nordics

Ingria and the Ingrian Finns

Ingria is the historic name for the isthmus between the Baltic Sea and Lake Lagoda, connecting modern-day Finland with modern-day Estonia. Today, this region is dominated by the city of St Petersburg. Over the last four hundred years, Ingria has seen numerous invasions, annexations and changes to state boundaries, reflecting the major historical…

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 | Video, 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.…

Guest workers striking against forced redundancies in front of DA (the Danish Employers' Association), 1978. Photo: Arbejdermuseets Arkiv (The Workers Museum's Archive).

2019.11.07 | Article, Niels Wium Olesen, Astrid Elkjær Sørensen, Thorsten Borring Olesen, Rosanna Farbøl, Labour markets, Minorities

Danish immigration policy, 1970-1992

In 1973, the Social Democrat government introduced an immediate stop to labour immigration because of growing unemployment. Immigration was, however, not a particularly problematic subject in the political and public debate in the 1970s. From the beginning of the 1980s, more refugees came to Denmark, particularly from the Middle East and the…

Attitudes of welfare professionals are not only shaped by societal or macro processes but also organisational conditions. Photo: colourbox.dk.

2019.10.31 | Article, Carolin Schütze, Labour markets, Research

It's relational: Racial attitudes in Swedish welfare institutions

Racial bias of staff at welfare institutions can result in negative outcomes for minority clients. Staff are not only professionals, but also individuals with personal beliefs and values. While the overriding organisational culture may be to give equal services to all clients, the attitude of staff and other work pressures might influence their…

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