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.