Conference programme

Nordic Challenge Conference

Please download conference abstracts as a pdf.

Wednesday 7 March

Opening ceremony & first key note



Main building (Fabiansgatan 33), Ground floor

University Main Building


Opening of the conference

Welcome from the organizers: Peter Stadius

Next Nordic Challenges conference invitation: Caroline de la Porte (Copenhagen Business School)


Small Hall, Main Building


Key Note Lecture

Professor Bo Stråth (European University Institute/University of Helsinki): Norden: the Whole and its Parts in a Global Perspective


Small Hall


Moderator: Peter Stadius


Session I: 16.30-18.00


I-1 (hall 5): The Nordic countries in a cultural-evolutionary perspective: The case of sustainable modernity?

I-2 (hall 6): Post migration identities and generations in Nordic countries I

I-3 (hall 8): Early Nordic Political Narratives

I-4 (hall 10): Indexes in the making and circulation of Nordic models

I-5 (hall 12): Nordic Responses to Soviet/Russian Challenges, 1917-2017


Introduction by Nina Witoszek (University of Oslo)



Atle Midttun (Norwegian Business School)

Lars Trägårdh (Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College)


Tuire Liimatainen: “Morning Coffee always tastes better in a Moomin Mug” - Representations of Sweden-Finnishness in a Social Media Campaign

Maïmouna Jagne-Soreau: “Allt i denna diktsvit är fiktion / förutom problemen”. Postmigration literature in the Nordic countries

Daria Krivonos: Making migrant workers: labour, racialisation and gender in young unemployed Russian-speakers' encounters with labour activation in Finland

Odd Arvid Storsveen: The birth of a Nordic political narrative?

Torbjörn Nilsson: Conservatives at the crossroad – Distance or nearness to populism and extremism?

Andreas Mørkved Hellenes: From Geneva to Pontigny: Sites of Nordic Democracy in Late Interwar Europe

Tero Erkkilä, Niilo Kauppi, Meng-Hsuan Chou: Global Indicators, Competition and the Nordic Model

Martin Boje Møller-Rasmussen: The idea(s) of a Nordic Model of National Competitiveness? Malcolm Langford, Tori Loven Kirkebø, Haldor Byrkjeflot, Johan Karlsson Schaffer: The role of indexes and rankings in the making of Nordic exceptionalism


Kari Aga Myklebost: The Russian Revolution of 1917: Responses in the Nordic area

Hallvard Tjelmeland: Nordic strategies towards the Soviet Union in 1970s and 1980s

Magnus Andersson: Norway, Finland and the “Pole Position” in Arctic affairs after the Cold War

Stian Bones: Countering the idea of a race for the Arctic. The Nordic countries and Russia 2005-2010


Chair: Stefan Nygård

Chair: Lotta Haikkola & Miika Tervonen

Chair: Jussi Kurunmäki

Chair: Johan Strang

chair: Ainur Elmgren

18-19: University Reception: hosted by Hanna Snellman, Dean of the Faculty of Art

Teachers Lounge, Main Building

The reception is co-organized between The Second Nordic Challenges Conference and the conference Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries. After the University Reception there will be an informal get toghether for especially PhD students and early career post docs at The Thirsty Scholar pub (Fabiansgatan 37), which will be open for the general public.

Thursday 8 March

9-15: Registration. The front desk is in the main building (Fabiansgatan 33) ground floor.

Session II: 9.00-10.30


II-1 (hall 5): Experiences in Writing Nordic Historiography I

II-2 (hall 7): Post migration identities and generations in Nordic countries II

II-3 (hall 8): Branding the Nordic Welfare State

II-4 (hall 10): Making and circulation of Nordic ideas into models

II-5 (hall 12): Education in Norden

II-6 (Hall 13): Bridges and barriers in forming Nordic identities


Pertti Haapala: Opening and introduction: The power of methodological

nationalism in Nordic historiography

Marja Jalava: The rise of the idea of "history of society" in Nordic countries

Petteri Norring: Nordic history as a concept and tool in Eino Jutikkala's works



Antti Häkkinen: Ten Generations – Three Centuries: A Finnish History as Family Stories

Teemu Kemppainen: Crossing Borders for Health and Well-being – A mixed methods study on medical travel between Finland, Russia and Estonia.

Rusten Menard: Negotiating shifting networks of discourses from marked social positions

Alan Granadino: Between the Left and the North. The Swedish model in the PSOE’s discourse during the Spanish transition to democracy

Tom Hoctor: A research agenda with(out) a history: rediscovering the Freudian origins of national branding


Caroline de la Porte: The European Pillar of Social Rights meets the Nordic Model

Niels Fuglsang: The strange non-death of economic models

Irma Erlingsdóttir: From a Vilification to Celebration: International Perceptions of Iceland’s 2008 Financial Crash

Janne Holmén: Education 4.0 – Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian attempts at mitigating the challenges of technological change through education

Svein Ivar Angell: Education as a Nordic Brand During the Cold War

Zacharias Andreadakis: Sustainable Assessment in Nordic Higher Education: Learning from Award-winning Practices at the University of Oslo

Claus Elholm Andersen: 'For et dumt jævla idiotland det her var'. Homelessness and Exile in Knausgård’s My Struggle

Ainur Elmgren: Finnish Majority and Minority Intellectuals and the Politics of Belonging 1890-1944

John Dyce: Bron/Broen: a bridge across cultural differences? The branding of Norden as a Nordic


Chair: Pauli Kettunen

Chair: Lotta Haikkola & Miika Tervonen

Chair: Mary Hilson

Chair: Haldor Byrkjeflot

Chair: Ruth Hemstad

Chair: Johan Strang

10.30-11: COFFEE BREAK

Event Session: 11.00-12.00


III-1 Theater performance and lecture (Science Corner/ Stage):

Research project Divergining Fates: Travelling Circus People under National Socialism in cooperation with Teater Mestola

III-2: Book launch (Science Corner/ Basement):

A conceptual history approach to public health in Norden

III-3: Round table discussion (hall 5):

Nordic cooperation from abroad and from within


Inledande föreläsning: Malte Gasche

Performans: Alfred Molnar (1905-1988) - från rotlös kosmopolitisk rackare till stolt finsk lejontämjare (Performed in Swedish)

text och regi: Fabian Silén

På scenen: Ville Korander

Conceptualising Public Health: Historical and Contemporary Struggles over Key Concepts (Routledge 2018)

Presentation of the book by the editors and contributors:

Johannes Kananen, Merle Wessel, Sophy Bergenheim, Ainur Elmgren

A discussion on the current state of Nordic cooperation with perspectives by Tobias Etzold (Stiftung Wissenshaft und Politik, Berlin), Matilda af Hällström (Nordic Council’s office, Brussels), Johan Strang (UiONordic/CENS)


moderator: Peter Stadius

Discussant: Marja Jalava

moderator: Johan Strang

12.00-13.00: Lunch

Second Key Note: 13.00-14.00


Small Hall


Key note lecture by professor Grete Brochmann (University of Oslo)

Equality, solidarity and cohesion. The Nordic diversity challenge



Moderator: Johan Strang

Session IV: 14.15-15.45


IV-1 (hall 5): Experiences in Writing Nordic Historiography II

IV-2 (hall 7): Public health policy in Norden

IV-3 (hall 8): The Nordic Welfare State – Still Social Democratic? I

IV-4 (hall 10): Cultural diversity and Nordic Societies


Pelle Oliver Larsen: National professorships and transnational

networks in Scandinavian history during the 1930s and 1940s

Peter Edelberg: Trans-Nordic neo-empiricism after WWII

Kari Tove Elvbakken: Reforming Nordic Public Health Institutes – from uniformity to diversity?

Zuzana Nordeng: Europeanisation of health care systems: implementation of EU Rules on Cross-Border Care in Norway

Sophy Bergenheim: Finnish population policy in the 1930s–1960s: from a homogenising bourgeois ‘defence strategy’ to universal(ish) welfare state policy?

Pauli Kettunen: The Nordic Welfare State – a Social Democratic Project?

Klaus Petersen (SDU) & Urban Lundberg (Stockholm University): Lost? - The Cultural Retrenchment of Danish and Swedish Social Democracy

Commentator: Christopher Lloyd (University of New England/University of Tampere/University of Helsinki)

Anna Derksen: Full Participation and Equality? Nordic Perceptions of Disability around the International Year of Disabled Persons (1981)

Marja Peltola: Masculinities and ethnicities in 11-14-year-old boys living in Helsinki

Jón Ingvar Kjaran & Jukka Lehtonen: Lost opportunities in the lands of “achieved equality”: Nordic perspectives on sexual diversity in education


Chair: Pertti Haapala

Chair: Johannes Kananen

Chair: Pauli Kettunen

Chair: Merle Wessel



IV-5 (hall 12): 19th Century Scandinavist Visions and Practices

IV-6 (hall 13): Negotiations and visions - Urban development and green areas in past and present Helsinki

IV-7 (hall 6): Shifting Foreign Images of Sweden During the Long 1990s


Jens Olesen: Scandinavianism: Visions of Unity and national interests

Andrew Newby: "Brothers From the Nordic Tribe" -- Scandinavia, Finland and Famine Relief, 1857-1870

Mikael Björk-Winberg: Scandinavianism and Finland: how were Finns active in Scandinavist networks during the mid-19th century and what consequences did it have?

Ranja Hautamäki: Negotiations between Landscape Preservation and Urbanism in Helsinki

Julia Donner: Modern green - historical perspectives and future questions

Mika Mäkelä: Urban renewal of the Kallio district in Helsinki


Carl Marklund: Shifts in “Sweden-bashing:” Themes and tropes in the critical discourse on Sweden – comparing the 1980s and the 2010s.

Nikolas Glover: From subversive aid provider to equal trade partner: attempts to capitalize on Sweden's image in South Africa in the 1990s.

Andreas Mørkved Hellenes: From Model to Copyist: Swedish Self-Promotion at the Threshold of Europe



Chair: Ruth Hemstad

chair: Peter Stadius

Chair: Ulla Manns

15.45-16.15: COFFEE BREAK

Session V: 16.15-17.45


V-1 (hall 5): Experiences in Writing Nordic Historiography III

V-2 (hall 7): Nordic-Baltic Intersections after the Cold War

V-3 (hall 8): The Nordic Welfare State – Still Social Democratic? II

V-4 (hall 10): National and Nordic Narratives – Tensions and Transfers in Nineteenth Century Scandinavian Schools


Mervi Kaarninen: The co-operation of Nordic historians in the 20th


Ragnar Björk: The Nordic dimension in Swedish historiography.

Simon Larsson: Nordic historiography from nationalism to empirical


Jussi Kurunmäki: Finnish Foreign Policy and the Making of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference

Carl Marklund, Kazimierz Musial & Ylva Waldemarson: Reframing Identities, Interests and Strategies in a Time of Uncertainty in the Baltic Sea Region

Norbert Götz: Norden in Baltic Sea Cooperation: Semi-permeability and Demarcation

Ilkka Kärrylä (University of Helsinki) & Sami Outinen (University of Helsinki): The Changing Views of Finnish and Swedish Social Democrats on Regulation and Democracy in Economy and Working Life

Heidi Vad Jønsson: Nordic Social Democracy, Migration and the Welfare State

Commentator: Christopher Lloyd

Ruth Hemstad: Images of ‘Scandinavia’ and ‘the Nordic’ in textbooks and maps after 1814

Merethe Roos: Inter-Scandinavian transfer and education debates in the mid-nineteenth century

Henrik Edgren: Textbooks and national narratives in comparative perspectives



Chair: Marja Jalava

Chair: Kari Aga Myklebost

Chair: Pauli Kettunen

Chair: Janne Holmen



V-5 (hall 12): State Control and Regulation of Sexuality and Normality in Forming the Nordic Welfare State

V-6 (hall 6, OBS! NEW LOCATION): The Nordics and issues of a global nature, ca. 1960-1980

V-7 (hall 4): Women in the Nordic Labour Market


Merle Wessel: The German Castration Legislation of 1970 in a Nordic Perspective

Cai Weaver: Gays, Perverts and Degenerates – The Chain of Perversion in Putin’s Russia

Daniela Alaattinoglu: The Forgotten Victims? Survivors of Involuntary Castration in the Nordic Countries

Melina Antonia Buns: Soiling Sky: On the Intention of Nordic Cooperation on Air Pollution

David Larsson Heidenblad: Rolf Edberg: A Pioneering Nordic Environmentalist in 1966

Björn Lundberg: Tracing the Ecological Turn in Nordic Foreign Aid 1960-1975

Sunniva Engh: The Nordics and the postwar population-resource quandary

Carol Azungi Dalega: Women's careers in technology-driven employment - focus on female media practitioners in Norway

Hilde G. Corneliussen: Women's career trajectory in technology-driven R&I in rural communities

Anna Karlsdóttir: Integration to the Labour Market, Indicators of Integration in the Nordic countries and regions


chair: Mary Hilson

chair: Andrew Newby

chair: Irma Erlingsdóttir


19: Mayor’s Reception at the City Hall (19-20 Old Court House, Aleksanterinkatu 20)

Be ready to show the invitation at the entrance

Friday 9 March

9.15-10.45: Session VI


VI-1 (hall 5): Minority strategies in a Nordic majority society

VI-2 (hall 6): Criterias for inclusion and exclusion in Nordic societies

VI-3 (hall 7): Rhetorics of Nordicness

VI-4 (hall 8): Nordic labour market

VI-5 (hall 12): Region, environment and population

VI-6 (hall 13): Models for soft Nordic policy


Eija Stark: Quest of the Folk. Ethnicity representations in the Finnish folk narrative tradition

Simo Muir: Post-war Politics of Memory among Jews and Roma in Finland

Urban Claesson: The household as a synchronizing force in Nordic history


Mats Wickstöm: From historical fact and prerequisite of welfare to nationalist myth and retrogression: changing notions of homogeneity in Sweden

Marjukka Weide: Making New Citizens: Discourses of Political Incorporation in Denmark and Finland

Kristian Bjørkdahl: A Dugnad for the Displaced?: Making Good on Norway's Reputed Goodness in the 2015 Refugee Crisis

Mary Hilson, Jani Marjanen & Johan Strang: Rhetorics of Nordicness

Matti La Mela: Nordicness of allemansrätten, a right of public access to nature

Ruth Hemstad: ‘Nordic Unity’ and ‘the Scandinavian Idea’ – Nordic and Scandinavian as Rhetorical Concepts in the Nineteenth Century

Mary Hilson & Tom Hoctor: The Nordic Model

Johanna Ahola-Launonen: Maintaining Nordic values: Against the trend of responsibilization of the individual, towards an institutional account of responsibility

Ole Jacob Thomassen & Trond Løyning: Towards an Audit Society? Transformations in Justification for Supervisory Agencies in the Nordic Countries

Ingrid Birce Muftuoglu: Global trends in non-financial corporate reporting: The transition from labour rights to human rights in Nordic energy companies

Simo Laakkonen: Making of the first environmental convention in the Baltic Sea Region: Nordic Countries, United Nations, and OILPOL 1954

Corinna Casi: The Value of the Barents Region: Cultural diversity and its Natural Environment

Karoliina Snell & Heta Tarkkala: Nordic Population as a Cohort for Competetiveness

Kristine Kjærsgaard: The Rise, Fall and Potential Revival of the Nordic Peacekeeping Model

Amanda Cellini: The Use of Soft Law in Humanitarianism: Towards a Nordic Brand of Refugee Resettlement

Agnieszka Legutko: Welfare state and civil participation - favourable conditions to create Nordic model of NGO?


Chair: Peter Stadius

Chair: Miika Tervonen

Chair: Johan Strang

Chair: Caroline de la Porte

Chair: Stian Bones

Chair: Norbert Götz

10.45-11: COFFEE BREAK

11.00-12.30: Session VII


VII-1 (hall 5): Bureaucracy, democratization, civil society and language in 19th century Norden

VII-2 (hall 6): Work and labour market

VII-3 (hall 7): Transfers of Nordic culture

VII-4 (hall 8): Higher education and knowledge capital

VII-5 (hall 12): Internal and external patterns on Branding Norden

VII-6 (hall 13): Historical encounters and minority strategies in Norden


Lars Mjøset: Bureaucracy, church and administrative language in Norway and Iceland in the 19th century

Mette Frisk Jensen: The building of the Scandinavian states: establishing Weberian bureaucracy and curbing corruption from the mid-seventeenth to the end of the nineteenth century

Risto Alapuro: Notes on the Bureaucracy in Finland and in Norway in the Nineteenth Century

Apostolis Papakostas: State Autonomy and Infrastructural Capacities: Sequences and Contingencies.

Reima Launonen: The role of work in Nordic welfare states

Sami Outinen: Vanguards of Social Democratic Third Way Policy: Nordic Social Democrats, Employment and Emerging Economic Globalization 1975−1986

Shah Murad: How to Manage Nordic Labour Market: In Search of the Perfect Model

Åsa Arping: “The Great Nordic Light”: American Bremer-mania and transfer identities in the 1840s

Eija Niskanen: Moomin in Japanese animation – Finnish or Japanese original work?

Jana Lainto: Imagining Denmark in the Central European Czech lands/Czechoslovakia through the works of Arnošt Kraus

Jouni Kekäle: Changing Higher Education Policy and the Quest for the Ideal of Socially Responsible University.

Services in Nordic Academia

Sissel Fossat: Nordic television as national defense. Danish narratives of Nordic television 1968-1988

Yohann Aucante: Paradoxes of universalism: Scandinavian welfare between national and global imaginations

Michael Livingston: Dreamworld or Dystopia?: Internal and External Perspectives on the Nordic Model in the 21st Century

Jon Reiersen: Americans Prefer Sweden and Norwegians Prefer Norway

Johanna Wassholm & Ann-Catrin Östman: Trading minorities and cultural encounters on town markets in late 19th century Finland

Malte Gasche: Security Practices of Circus People with Transnational Backgrounds during the Early Years of the Nordic Welfare States

Maren Jonasson: Bewildering narratives and constant mobility: Survival strategies of two African-American women making their living in the Nordic countries 1874–1897


Chair: Andrew Newby

Chair: Klaus Petersen

Chair: Claus Elholm

Chair: Jani Marjanen

Chair: Malcom Langford

Chair: Eija Stark

Lunch: 12.30-13.15

13.15-15.00: Final session


15.15: Presentation of ReNEW: Peter Stadius, Haldor Byrkjeflot


Small Hall


15.50: Panel: Visions for research on Norden

Panelists: Thomas Wilhelmsson, Claus Elholm Andersen, Mary Hilson

moderator: Johan Strang



14.50: Closing of Conference