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CSS Conference 2017 – Rethinking Scandinavia

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Scandinavia in a Fractured Globalized World

Daniel Ogden, Mälardalen University


Abstract: The paper argues the increased likelihood, and indeed necessity, of a new “imagined community” of Scandinavia developing in the post Brexit and post Trump election and inauguration near future. What was once thought of as an unstoppable march towards a homogenous, globalized world has been called into question by these two, in many ways traumatic, events forcing countries to re-examine how they are to find security in an increasingly unstable and unpredictable world. In many ways the Nordic/Scandinavian countries are in an advantageous position to do this. Institutional frameworks, and the cultural and linguistic ties they are based on, already exist to facilitate this, even if these have received less attention in recent years due to globalization and the EU project. It is unlikely, and I would hold undesirable, that this new imagined Scandinavia would be a return to the nineteenth century Romantic idea of a unified Scandinavia under one cultural and ethnic identity. Instead I think it will take full advantage of what the conference organizers call the contemporary “clash and overlap” of languages and cultures; and I would add, ethnicities. The multicultural Scandinavian/Nordic countries, though far from being conflict free (which is not a desired end) have an opportunity not only to mitigate the harmful economic and political effects of Brexit and a Trump presidency, but also to offer an alternative to the closed societies they hope to create.

Theme: Scandinavian Identity Throughout History

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