Scandinavian politics today

Third edition

By David Arter

Scandinavian politics today


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9568-9
  • Pages: 464
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £25.99
  • Published Date: December 2015
  • BIC Category: Politics, United States of America, USA, Politics & government, Political science & theory, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Comparative Politics, POLITICAL SCIENCE / American Government / General, Northern Europe, Scandinavia, Society & social sciences / Political science & theory
  • Series: Politics Today


This completely revised and updated third edition of Scandinavian politics today follows the format of earlier editions by providing a uniquely comparative, thematic and insightful treatment of politics and government in the five nation-states of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, along with the three Home Rule territories of Greenland, Faeroes and Åland that together make up the Nordic region or Norden.

Thirteen chapters cover Scandinavia past and present; parties in developmental perspective; the Scandinavian party system model; the Nordic model of government; the Nordic welfare model; legislative-executive relations in the region; the changing security environment and the transition from Cold War 'security threats' to the 'security challenges' of today; and a concluding chapter looks at regional co-operation, Nordic involvement in the 'European project' and the Nordic states as 'moral superpowers'.

This new edition will be of relevance to topical UK debates on the Nordic model, welfare system change, Scottish independence and the challenges facing small-state systems in a globalised world.


Introduction: The Nordic states: a suitable case for comparison?
Part I: The making of modern Scandinavia
1. Settlers and empires
2. Nation-building and state-building, 1809-1944
Part II: The Scandinavian party system model
3. The emergence of the Scandinavian party system(s)
4. The historic strength of the five main types of party
5. 'Big bang' elections and party system change in Scandinavia: farewell to the 'enduring party system'?
Part III: A distinctive model of political representation?
6. Selecting candidates and electing members of parliament in the Nordic region: an analytical framework
7. The personal vote and personal-vote-seeking: a shift towards an 'individualised candidate campaign model'?
8. Political representation: a 'demand side' perspective
Part IV: A Nordic model of government?
9. The Nordic states: consensual democracies?
10. A Nordic model of government?
Part V: A Nordic model of parliamentarism?
11. The Nordic parliaments: much of a muchness 'working parliaments'?
12. The Nordic parliaments: an alternative model?
13. Towards prime ministerial government or a presidentialised executive?
Part VI: The Nordic welfare model
14. Trouble in Paradise: W(h)ither the 'Nordic welfare model'?
15. A new Nordic welfare model?
Part VII: The international relations of the Nordic states
16. The changing security environment in the Nordic region. From Cold War 'security threats' to the 'security challenges'of today
17. 'Reluctant Nordics'?
18. 'Reluctant Europeans'? The Nordic states or the Nordic peoples?
19. The Nordic states: moral superpowers?


David Arter is Emeritus Professor and Director of Research at the University of Tampere, Finland

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