Scotland and the Nordic Model: Lessons for Scotland from Denmark, Norway and Sweden

Working papers
Clare de Mowbray

Paper prepared for annual conference of the Political Studies Association 14-­‐16 April 2014, Manchester

(Work in progress–please do not cite without permission)


Abstract

This paper considers the “Nordic Model” in more depth, examining its foundations, development and adjustments in response to several economic crises. It  analyses the differences between its manifestations in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, arguing that the model itself exists as a Weberian ideal-­‐ type, combining the conceptualisation of social democratic themes with practical examples in the form of the Nordic states. It argues that the “Nordic Model” has developed in a variety of ways in each of the Nordic states and there is no single formula for its existence, as the differences between the states indicates. Finally, it speculates as to the possible implementation of aspects of the model in Scotland, arguing that while certain aspects of the “Nordic Model” are transferable, the cumulative model relies upon several key features (notably, political consensus and tripartite bargaining) which are unlikely to transfer to Scotland given the distinctly different political culture.

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