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The Nordic Model: Scandinavia Since 1945 (Contemporary Worlds) [Paperback]

Mary Hilson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £17.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

20 May 2008 Contemporary Worlds
For a sparsely populated region on the edge of Europe, Scandinavia has attracted an unusual degree of interest during the twentieth century. The successes and failures of the famous 'Scandinavian' or 'Nordic' model in politics and policy continue to generate debate. "The Nordic Model" advocates a government-funded welfare state, an egalitarian tax system and strict job regulation. In this book respected historian of Scandinavia Mary Hilson provides a welcome addition to the literature on the Nordic model by examining in detail its main historical influences, and the ways in which it has changed over time. Covering all five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, the book includes chapters on economic development, politics and government, foreign policy and the welfare state, as well as a more general account of the cultural meanings that have accrued to Scandinavia in the twentieth century. The implications of recent developments for the continued coherence of the region are assessed, in particular the European dimension, and the re-emergence of the Baltic Sea as a potential regional focus. This book will appeal to students of the region as well as to general readers with an interest in Scandinavia.

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The Nordic Model: Scandinavia Since 1945 (Contemporary Worlds) + Scandinavian politics today (Politics Today) + The History of Scandinavia (Norway,Sweden,Denmark,Finland,Iceland)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books (20 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861893663
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861893666
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 13.9 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 208,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'a very thoroughly researched and quite balanced treatment of all five countries ... very well written.'
--Journal of the Royal Geographical Society

About the Author

Mary Hilson is Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Scandinavian History at University College London, and is the author of Political Change and the Rise of Labour in Comparative Perspective: Britain and Sweden 1890-1920 (2006).

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book 15 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book clearly described the Nordic Model and the Nordic Welfare Model. Just what I needed for my research.

Thank you.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting contrasts 4 Jun 2011
By W Boudville - Published on
Hilson gives a concise understanding of the Scandinavian countries after World War 2. Highly readable, even if you have little prior acquaintance with that region. Much of the text compares the nations with each other, showing nuances in political and cultural behaviour that gives a deeper appreciation of each, rather than a monolithic description. For instance, Sweden was unique in being able to remain neutral throughout the war. The immediate post war result was that there was no rebuilding necessary. But the text also mentions that uniquely, one of its main political parties threatened prominent members with explusion due to their anti-fascist views. Whereas the other countries faced the problem of collaborationist behaviour.

A common thread does appear, of a so-called Nordic approach to social solidarity. As evidenced by an overarching welfare state and concomitant high tax rates. But even here, the book discusses different implementations and their consequences.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but minimal 21 Nov 2011
By Mark V Anderson - Published on
It was a very interesting review of the Scandinavian countries for someone who doesn't know too much about them. I disagree with the reviews that say this is for those who already know a lot about these countries. I don't feel I know much about them, but I understood most of what the author was talking about. I understand that these countries are considered to be kind of a middle way between the free market and socialism, but I think that is mostly general knowledge.

My criticism of this book is that it is too much a summary, with little detailed information. It's a good book for very general knowledge about the 20th Century history of Scandinavia and the politics and economics of the region, but only enough to get a taste of these topics, not to truly understand them. I read this book to try to get some insight into the economic success of these societies, despite the top-down approach and heavy government interference in their economies. It's not that I expect any one author to explain this conundrum, but I would have liked to have gotten more than this treatise. This subject certainly deserves more than 200 pages.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK introduction to the topic. 12 July 2012
By Xcy - Published on
This book is useful primarily for those who are not at all familiar with the basic philosophies behind and practices associated with the Nordic model. It does a good job of covering the various areas that make the Nordic countries different from other parts of Europe (as well as North America). However, the book is not sufficiently in-depth or analytical to be of much use for those who are already familiar with the model and who are seeking to gain a deeper understanding of its historical development. For those who are searching for deeper analysis, I would recommend Normative Foundations of the Welfare State: The Nordic Experience (Routledge/Eui Studies in the Political Economy of Welfare)
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent revision of main issues of the Nordic countries 1 July 2011
By Mr. Pablo Rodas - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good review of some very important topics of the Nordic countries. It is necessary to have some previous knowledge of the history of the countries, otherwise some point may not become clear. In just about 200 pages the author is able to cover the entire region in five broad topics. I enjoyed a lot the first four topics; I found a bit superficial the last one.
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