Does the Most Brilliant Future of the ‘Nordic Model’ Have to be in the Past?

  • Olli Kangas
  • Joakim Palme
Part of the Social Policy in a Development Context book series (SPDC)


We have in this book tried to explore the transformation of the Nordic countries in the twentieth century from a developmental perspective, with the focus on the role of social policy (cf. Mkandawire 2001). We have observed several reasons for why the emergence and transformation of the ‘Nordic model’ is of interest for the discussion of social policy in developmental perspective. One reason is simply that the Nordic countries have been successful in promoting social policy goals, reducing poverty and inequality while simultaneously increasing employment and social inclusion. We would argue that in the Nordic countries something similar to Schumpeter’s notion of a ‘constructive destruction’ has taken place. Another reason is that each of the Nordic countries is facing dilemmas that are in several respects common to countries in different parts of the world. This second reason is obviously more future oriented: what challenges do the transformation to an ‘information society’ and more global economies pose for the ‘Nordic model’?


Labour Market Social Policy Welfare State Nordic Country Pension System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© United Nations Research Institute for Social Development 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olli Kangas
  • Joakim Palme

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