Call for Papers on Humanitarianism and the Nordic model, UiO:Nordic Conference

UiO:Nordic is organizing a conference on Global Challenges – Nordic Experience to be held in Oslo on 20-21 March, 2017 and has currently released a call for papers.


There is currently a great deal of interest in ”the Nordic Model” in the international community as well as in the Nordic countries themselves. For many people “the Nordic Model” represents a formula for success where economic growth, social welfare, a highly skilled labor force and high quality of life have been successfully combined.

Most social partners and political parties within the Nordic region seem to accept or identify with the idea that the Nordic countries have a contribution to make internationally. However, there are good reasons to question some of the predominant assumptions about the Nordic countries and their experiences. Although “the Nordic Model” is often presented as a formula for success, it refers to a diversity of experiences and differences, and is also criticized for having a “dark side” and for not being as exceptional as it is often claimed.

The aim of the conference is to provide critical perspectives on ideas related to “Nordic exceptionalism” in different spheres of society, historically and within an international context, but also to point out areas where Nordic experiences and solutions may be of use for, among other things, purposes related to social progress and social and environmental sustainability.

We invite papers with historical, interdisciplinary and international perspectives that critically examine Nordic experiences, Nordic models or constructions of ”the Nordic” in general or particular institutional fields. Information about the conference programme, the organizers, how to hand in abstracts and register for the conference, and contact information follow below.


The call for papers notes many possible themes that submissions may focus on, including humanitarianism and the Nordic model, with a particular emphasis on refugee resettlement:

The making and circulation of Nordic models This theme refers to the general interest, aims and objectives of UiO:Nordic as described in the programme notes. For more information on the programme, please contact academic director Haldor Byrkjeflot.

We welcome comparisons among the Nordic countries and reflections over to what extent the claim that the Nordic models exist in one way or the other makes sense. There is a diversity of ideas and models circulating that claim to be related to Nordic experiences and institutional innovations, for instance Nordic model of education and life-long learning, Nordic style of policy development and innovation regime.

The Nordic countries are seen as peace brokers and norm entrepreneurs with a high degree of gender equality. In public and political discourse, humanitarian engagement is commonly seen both as an inherent Nordic trait and inherently benevolent. We invite papers with critical academic focus on the welfare agents and the resettlement process.

Other themes relate to the Nordic social movements and the “creative industries”; Nordic design, literature and cuisine. Papers that address and problematize the existence of Nordic models as well as the emergence and circulation of ideas relating to such models are welcome.

Submission guidelines

Abstracts are due 15 October, 2016. Guidelines for submission can be found here.

Please send abstracts to