The Nordic model and its contemporary inhabitants – exploring stability and change from a micro perspective

Project Details


The societies developed in the Nordic countries attract widespread international attention. These
societies are among the richest in the world, they are among the most equal in the world and their
inhabitants seem to be among the happiest in the world. These merits and the fact that these
countries are secularised, have (post)modern family structures, and always have been (small) open economies increase the interest; the Nordic countries seem to provide a successful model for establishing a well-functioning post-modern society in a globalised economy.

Therefore it is no wonder that there has been a large scholarly interest in the function of the Nordic countries. The
most famous contribution is without doubt Esping-Andersen’s work “The Three Worlds of Welfare
Capitalism” (1990) where he describes the existence of a social democratic welfare regime in the Nordic countries that can be distinguished from the conservative welfare regime found in the Continental European countries and the liberal welfare regime found in the Anglo-Saxon countries.This work substantiated the idea of a “Nordic model” and despite internal variations comparative
statistics continues to show that the Nordic countries distinguish themselves.

This research project program wants to explain how this seemingly coherent (seen from a larger comparative perspective) “Nordic model” is reproduced. Thus, the task is to explain why people living in the “Nordic model” continue to make decisions that underpin the institutional settings; why do the
inhabitants continue to support heavy redistribution (project 1), why do the inhabitants continue to trust each other (project 2), why do the inhabitants continue to support state solutions (project 3), why do inhabitants continue to supply labour (project 4), and how is the new inhabitants (immigrants) influenced by the institutional characteristic of the “Nordic model” (project 5)?

The thesis is that one can only understand this process of reproduction by understanding the links between the institutional characteristics of the “Nordic model” (which are well described) and the orientations, values and beliefs among people living in these structural settings.
AcronymSapere Aude
Effective start/end date01/06/201131/05/2015


  • Independent Research Fund Denmark | Sapere Aude


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.