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.


Despite being latterly less popular, Nordic trade union confederations still provide millions of workers with advice and the public with information. Photo: a graph by the Swedish LO showing the percentage of unionisation by work type and gender.

2019.02.18 | Article, John Logue, Labour markets

Trade unions in the Nordic countries

Trade unions play a more important role in Nordic politics and economics than they do in most other countries. This is largely a result of their organisational success, which has made them key actors in policymaking as well as in collective bargaining.

Wage policies in the 1950s led to greater wage equality.

2019.02.18 | The Quick Read, John Logue, Law, Labour markets

Solidaristic wage policy

Solidaristic wage policy refers to the practice, noticeably carried out in Sweden during the 1950s, of limiting wages in the most profitable sectors and increasing wages in less profitable sectors. It was carried out in order to achieve more equal wages on a national basis. It also had the consequence of heightening economic competitiveness…

The living room at Harpsund, with former British Foreign Secretary Herbert Morrison visiting, 1953. Svenska Dagbladet via IMS Vintage Photos, Public Domain.

2019.02.18 | The Quick Read, John Logue, Democracy, Governance

Harpsund democracy

Harpshund democracy is the Swedish practice of regular tripartite consultation between government, trade unions and businesses on major policy decisions. The consultation reflects the importance of the major interest organisations in shaping and implementing policy in the Swedish political model. The assumption is that strong policy can be built…

A poster from a 2010 demonstration against the Danish government's plan to pass a number of money-saving measures including reduce the period of unemployment compensation from four to two years. The law was subsequently passed. Photo: Musernes Samlinger (Arbejdermuseet).

2019.02.15 | Article, John Logue, Labour markets, Democracy

Labour markets in the Nordics

National labour markets in the Nordic countries reflect trade union and Social Democratic principles of full employment and solidarity, while conforming to the conditions of capitalist market economies. They combine high levels of labour force participation with excellent systems of unemployment compensation. Throughout the region there is now a…

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