Northern Lights: The Positive Policy Example of Sweden, Finland, Denmark & Norway
The nations of Scandinavia and Finland, or Nordic Europe, continue to provide living proof that economic prosperity can be combined with social equality and environmental responsibility. This book, written from an Australian perspective, explores previous outside policy interest in the Nordic nations and outlines some lessons which the English-speaking world, in particular, can learn now from the achievements of the four main Nordic European nations. In terms of income distribution these countries are still much more equal than Australia, Britain, New Zealand and Canada and nearly twice as equal as the United States. Workforce participation rates are high in the Nordic nations but working hours remain within reasonable limits; enabling genuine work-life balance. Sweden has played a leading role in improving wellbeing, and lowering poverty, among children. Finland has achieved stunning success in schools since the 1990s. Denmark invests in comprehensive skills training as part of providing security, as well as flexibility, in peoples employment lives. Norway's taxation approach ensures that natural resources are used sustainably for the entire nations long-term wealth. All of these achievements are relevant to the policy choices for the future which Australia, and other English-speaking countries, can now make.
Dr Andrew Scott is Associate Professor in Politics and Policy at Deakin University, Melbourne. He is the author of four previous books and numerous book chapters and articles on aspects of politics, policy and history; frequently involving international comparisons. For several years Andrew has been researching English-speaking nations past interest in and achievable lessons which they can learn and apply today from the policy achievements of the Nordic European nations.