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International Agenda of the Nordic Countries in Focus

Canadians will learn more about the international pursuits of the Nordic Countries when Prof. Anders Wivel speaks at Carleton University in Ottawa and University of Toronto this week. He is in Canada for the opening of a new Nordic Studies Program.


To many, the Nordic countries have become symbols of successful societies, with high equality and the happiest people in the world. They are also known for international engagement, support for international norms, peacekeeping and contributions to development.

As a consequence of increasing globalization and competition, the Nordic countries’ foreign and security policies have evolved. This tendency provides opportunities for cooperation while also challenging the Nordic nations in their positions as “model societies”.

Prof. Wivel will share his analysis of Scandinavia in international relations, at guest lectures September 18th at Carleton University and September 19th and 20th at University of Toronto.

A new Nordic Studies Program in Toronto

The Nordics have adapted and proved to be some of the most innovative places in the world. The Nordic countries have been first movers on sustainable solutions to challenges such as gender inequality, climate change and adaptation to economic globalization.

Canadians are interested in Nordic solutions. A new Nordic Studies Program is opening at Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. It will give Canadians the chance to study Nordic perspectives on global challenges ranging from culture to international politics.

The program starts this fall and is open to both undergraduate and graduate students.  During the first three years the program will receive support from the Nordic Council of Ministers.



 “Getting to Denmark”

The Nordic countries consistently rank among the top-10 in international indexes from country brand to well-being of citizens.

Famously, Dr. Francis Fukuyama, from Stanford University, has argued that the central challenges faced in societal development around the World can be summarized as “getting to Denmark”. Meaning that other countries should aim towards a Nordic model characterized by a low degree of corruption, strong civil society and stable democratic institutions.

The welfare states in the Nordics started developing in 1930, as a solution to the economic crises. Today they combine a high level of social security with high competitiveness. More recently, the Nordics have also proved that it is possible to reduce C02 emissions and still continue to grow the economy.

Learn more on Sept. 18 at Carleton University. “Scandinavia in International Relations: Norm Entrepreneurs and Reluctant Europeans”.

Sept. 20 – University of Toronto. “Nordic Foreign and Security Policies: Birds of a Feather Flying Apart”.