Organisation Advisory Board Partners
Contact Information

Unioninkatu 38 A (P.O. Box 59)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-02941 23188

The images on this page have been icluded in an exhibition called "Nordiska minnesplatser" (Nordic memorial sites), which was organized by CENS.


(Below) The Nordic countries have had a passport union since 1952. Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark were included, and Iceland joined three years later in 1955.

Centre for Nordic Studies CENS

The Norwegian polar explorer Amundsen with his husky dogs. Like Amundsen, CENS researches and "explores" the Nordic region. CENS encompasses multiple academic disciplines, mainly from the humanities and social sciences.

Centre for Nordic Studies (CENS) is a research unit with the aim of identifying and analyzing the particular factors that make the Nordic countries Nordic. These factors, historical experiences, societal arrangements, cultural voicing and political conduct, are approached and embarked as fields of tensions and contestation, with agencies striving at different sorts of goals.  The analyses aim thus to avoid essentialization of the culture and the political life of the Nordic countries. What unites and what differs are equally important.

The Nordic countries are studied in their international context acknowledging the challenges of the globalised world.  The question of regionalization is of particular importance. To what extent is it fruitful to analyze the Nordic countries as a particular region, historically or in contemporary world, a region with common historical experiences and/or a region with a common agenda in the world? To what extent are the national identities in the different Nordic countries constructed reflexively as particular expressions of countries of a particular Nordic type? Especially topical is to ask what the Nordic countries have to put on the table in international discussion as examples of best/good practices or cautionary example of bad practices.

The perspective of Norden in the world and the world in Norden necessitates that CENS enters into a dialogue with agencies and research partners outside the Nordic countries. Integrating an outside perspective have decisively helped CENS to become an important international arena, attracting young as well as experienced researchers to work at or together with CENS.

How CENS works


Kulturkontakt Nord organizes the seminar: Nordisk identitet i förändring (in Swedish) on the 9 February at 13-17. The programme and registration form can be found behind this link.

Nordic Studies Research Seminar
The Nordic Studies Research Seminar is open for everyone, students and researchers, who are interested in discussing interdisciplinary research about the Nordic region and Nordic culture.

Location: Unioninkatu 38 A 109 (Russian Room).

When: Every second Thursday at 16-18 o'clock. Next session on 18 February.

The papers will circulate one week beforehand through the e-mail list of the seminar. To join the list, please contact Merle Wessel (

Nordic Studies Research Seminar's upcoming Events:

18.2.2016, 12:30-17:00
Racial Hygiene and Population Politics in the Nordic Welfare State
enrollment to: Merle Wessel (merle.wessel[at]