The history of democracy in Scandinavia has often been written as a tale of success: the organic growth of a mature model of democracy out of its origins in the egalitarian social structures of the Nordic region, which was enriched by the influence of progressive ideas of social justice across the twentieth century. This collection of essays seeks, in contrast, to launch a more critical discussion of the complex history of democracy across the Nordic countries. It discusses the vicissitudes of democratic regimes in the region, and more especially the difficulty that they often experienced in balancing conflicting understandings of democracy as a culture and as a quasi-legal system. Those complexities had their origins in the divergent ideologies of democracy that emerged in Scandinavia, varying from different variant of people’s rule (often inflected by narratives of national emancipation) to more standardised systems of rights and freedoms. The articles in this collection do not therefore confine themselves to the political, but also explore the intellectual debates around democracy, as well as the interplay of social interests that influenced its evolution. In making a contribution to the histories of democracy in the Nordic states, this collection of essays also has the ambition of launching a larger discussion about the fragility of democracy across the twentieth century. What is often written about as the victory of a political system which seemed inseparable from modernity itself was in fact a more complex process with a contested past and an uncertain present.
M. ConwayOn Fragile Democracy: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives
J. Nevers / J.L. SkovThe ‘folk'ish’ Heritage in Nordic Democracy: Denmark and Norway
P. IhalainenThe Fragility of Finnish Parliamentary Democracy when Prussianism Fell
M. HilsonPopular Movements and the Fragility of the Nordic Democracies
J. KurunmäkiFinland, Sweden and the Interwar Crisis of Democracy
J. StrangScandinavian intellectuals and the fragility of democracy in World War II
J. Rainio-NiemiConstitutionalist Ethos and Constrained Democracy in Finland
Forum I: Neoliberalism as a Concept of Contemporary History?
With contributions of P.-P. Bänziger/ L. Rischbieter/ M. Wulz, M. Ronca, P. Eichenberger, S. Marti, M. Cottier, S. Brandes
Forum II: The Crises of Europe / Europa in der Krise
Gespräch mit K.K. Patel und L. Raphael über die Geschichte der europäischen Integration und den Strukturwandel westeuropäischer Gesellschaften in den 1970er Jahren
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Redaktion: hsk.redaktion [at] geschichte.hu-berlin.de. ISSN: 2196-5307