The program examines the neoliberalism in the Nordic welfare states from a historical perspective. The hypothesis is that the welfare state and a set of political alliances surrounding and including social democracy functioned not merely as the targets of neoliberal critique but as the vehicles of a specific Nordic variant of neoliberalism. So while the intellectual, political and economic developments in the Nordics since the 1970s share many characteristics of neoliberalisation elsewhere it also has its own distinct features. The program builds on a strong team of intellectual, conceptual, political, economic, social and cultural historians in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, and engages a wide international network.
The program gathers a dozen researchers from Uppsala University, Lund University, University of Copenhagen, University of Southern Denmark and University of Helsinki. Associate Professor Johan Strang has been engaged in the programme from its beginning and Ilkka Kärrylä will be hired at CENS from May 2020. (Kärrylä is defending his thesis on Saturday, November 30: The Contested Relationship of Democracy and the Economy.
The ideas behind the project have been developed at ReNEW-funded workshops and conferences.
More information on the project: Neoliberalism in the Nordics: Developing an absent theme
Recent interview with Johan Strang: The Nordic brand replaced the welfare state – did politics disappear from the Nordic model?
Recent interview with Ilkka Kärrylä: The contested relationship between democracy and the economy turned into emphasising private ownership