The Nordics and Crises

The Nordics and Crises

On this theme page, you can currently find material on the Nordics and covid-19:

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

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 approach to enforcing social distancing by legal measures. Irrespective of which approach is ‘correct’, the diverse reactions have disclosed the different ways each country is run, particularly with respect to the relationship between government and administrative authorities, such as, health boards. 

The Nordic response to the Great Depression – an economic approach to the Corona crisis? By Sami Outinen

A look back at how Sweden and Finland dealt with the depression in 1930s shows that it led to Keynesian interventionalism - with some key differences. The current corona crisis may provide an opportunity for political elites in the Nordics, as elsewhere, to choose similar paths to back then, namely, either a Keynesian-type of countermovement to free market capitalism, or inward-looking xenophobic nationalism.

Nordic public debt: the dangers of restricting public spending due to the covid-19 crisis By Ilkka Kärrylä

Prevailing economic doctrine 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 quickly. Despite the pressure to keep public debt down, the Nordics would do well not to sacrifice important public spending.

Webinar: Explaining Swedish Exceptionalism on Covid-19: Nordic Perspectives

This webinar was organised by 'Nordic Branding: Politics of Exceptionalism' at UiO:Nordic at the University of Oslo to discuss questions such as: Is the Swedish approach to Covid-19 exceptional? Can we explain the approach based on history or the political system? In this webinar we bring together scholars and scientists from the Nordic countries to try to explain the divergence. The seminar is from 15:00 - 16:00, CET.

The panel is made up of Bo Rothstein, Professor, University of Gothenburg, Bo Lidegaard, Macro Advisory Partners-Europe, and former Editor in Chief of Politiken, Johan Strang, Professor, University of Helsinki, and
Kristin Sandvik, Professor, University of Oslo. The moderators are Tore Rem, Professor, University of Oslo and head of UiO:Nordic, and Malcolm Langford, Professor, University of Oslo.


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