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.

Since the start CENS has hosted 19 finalized research projects, and been partners in 12 additional projects. The projects include both research teams and individual projects. CENS has an excellent track record for acquiring external funding, and we have acquired funding from major national, Nordic and European funding institutions. Currently we host 6 research projects.