Trained as a philosopher, Johan’s research interest concerns the intellectual and political history of Scandinavia. “If my dissertation concerned the establishment of the analytic hegemony in Nordic philosophy, I have since studied everything from Nordic cooperation to Nordic neoliberalism.”
For many years, Johan was responsible for the basic courses in Nordic studies at the ENS-programme, but during recent years, he has been engaged with different externally funded research projects that have consumed most of his working hours.
From 2019 to his appointment as professor, Johan was busy as an Academy of Finland Research Fellow with a project called Norden since the end of history studying the transformation of Norden as a community and as a political concept since the end of the Cold War. “Provocatively put, if Norden during the Cold War stood for peace and disarmament, the social democratic welfare state, and a participatory corporatist conception of democracy, Norden is today associated rather with deterrence, the neoliberal competition state, and a constitutionalised human rights- based conception of democracy.” The project resulted, among other things, in the edited volume Contesting Nordicness (available open access here).
Currently Johan is engaged in a couple of projects on the neoliberalisation of the Nordic welfare states, in which he continues his studies of the transformation and juridification of Nordic democracy. Johan will be on research leave during the calendar year 2024, but will be doing some teaching before that. He is also happy to supervise MA- and doctoral students interested in the intellectual and political history of 20th and 21st century Norden.
Johan is also responsible for a small study unit in Norden-studier in the Scandinavian languages (mainly Swedish) which are open also for ENS-students. As long as you are able to understand spoken Swedish you are welcome to these courses as well. “I especially recommend Nordiska aktualiteter in which we follow and discuss news from the Nordic countries. According to the feedback, I have designed a course in which students learn a lot, almost by mistake”.