Public policy, gender equality and labour markets

Policy making in the Nordics is characterised by the welfare state and a culture of working together, from the cross-party parliamentary culture, to tripartite negotiations between the government, employers and employees, to gender inclusiveness in the workplace. Many of these aspects are seen as making up what is often referred to as the Nordic model. However, gender segregation within the workforce remains high and other complex paradoxes exist that must not be overlooked. This page seeks to provide articles on both the traditional view of the Nordics as well as research that deconstructs that view. New articles are added on a regular basis.


Jan Eliasson in his capacity as United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, giving a speech in Somalia; he has worked on stabilising the country since 1992. Photo: AMISOM Public Information. Public Domain.

2020.07.28 | Biography, Jonathan Pugh, Governance

Jan Eliasson (b. 1940)

Jan Eliasson has been one of Sweden’s most prominent diplomats since as far back as the 1970s. Not only has he served in key roles for the Swedish Foreign Ministry and international organizations, but he is also renowned for his role as a mediator in numerous conflicts. His support for the concept of conflict prevention. Among his many roles, he…

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…

Vestre Landsret in Viborg, Denmark, built in 2014. Photo: Lars Guldager, domstol.dk.

2020.07.14 | Article, Byron J. Nordstrom, Law

The legal systems of the Nordic countries

Constitutions set out the rights of individuals living in the Nordic countries, enshrining fundamental principles, such as full equality before the law and innocence until proved guilty. Contemporary law in the Nordic countries is based on compiled codes and/or comprehensive collections of statutes.

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…

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…

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, Governance

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…

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…

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…

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…

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