Nordic culture, education and media

As well as content on culture, education and media, you will also find articles on art, literature, belief systems and public policy. Phenomena as diverse as Nordic noir, new Nordic cuisine and Nordic design have achieved global recognition more recently, as Nordic literature and architecture have done historically. Culture is taken in its broadest sense, including for example political culture and that of belief systems, such as the Lutheran church. Content about all these issues and more will be found on this page. 


2020.08.06 | Podcast, Lill Tove Fredriksen, Minorities, Literature

Podcast: A brief history of Sámi literature

Listen to 'A brief history of Sámi literature' in English or Finnish! 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 Finnish or English. / Tämä podcast-jakso on nimeltään 'Lyhyt historia saamelaisesta kirjallisuudesta' ja se on käännös…

2020.07.17 | Video, 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…

2020.06.29 | Podcast, Niels Wium Olesen, Astrid Elkjær Sørensen, Thorsten Borring Olesen, Rosanna Farbøl, Public policy, The Borders of the Nordics

Podcast: Danish immigration policy, 1970-1992

Listen to a potted history of the Danish immigration policy, 1970-1992 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 Dansk indvandrings- og udlændingepolitik, 1970-1992 på…

Anna Sandberg is Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen.

2020.06.18 | Video, Anna Lena Sandberg, The Borders of the Nordics, Literature, Democracy

Interview: The relationship between Denmark and Germany: politics and culture since 1800

In this short video, Anna Sandberg, Associate Professor in the Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies at Copenhagen University, gives an historical overview of the political and cultural relationship between Denmark and Germany over the last 200 years. Their relationship is an important one not least because it is the southern-most…

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…

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…

Varying histories and democratic traditions are perhaps some of the reasons why Denmark, Finland and Norway have reacted differently to covid-19 - and why Sweden has had a completely distinctive approach. (Note that this map only shows the Nordic countries referred to in the article.) Photo: colourbox.dk.

2020.04.06 | Outlook, Johan Strang, Public policy, Nation building

Why do the Nordic countries react differently to the covid-19 crisis?

Given the striking similarity of the Nordic societies, it is interesting to note how differently some of them have reacted to the current covid-19 crisis. For example, Denmark and Norway were quick to implement a work and school lockdown and close their borders. In contrast, Sweden has raised international interest with a comparatively lax…

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…

Non-standard employment such as part‐time or temporary work and low‐skilled service jobs have grown over the last couple of decades, and, they have become more uncertain, unpredictable and risky in terms of job and income security in recent decades. Photo:colourbox.dk.

2020.03.19 | Article, Young-Kyu Shin, Petri Böckerman, Research, Public policy, The Nordic Model

Trade union-administered unemployment benefit and precarious workers in Finland

The Nordic countries have some of the highest trade union rates of membership in the world. This has by some been attributed to unemployment insurance being largely administered by trade unions. Since around 1910, unemployment insurance in the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland and Sweden has been based on a voluntary system (‘Ghent’), rather than…

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