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The Politics of Nordic Generosity

We do research on the politics of Norwegian and Nordic engagement abroad, especially on what is considered – and might in fact be – peculiar about it.

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About the group

Combining disciplines like history, international relations, rhetoric, and social anthropology, we study how the policy and practice of Norway's and the other Nordic countries' international engagement is shaped, legitimized, and used for various purposes, not least for «branding» objectives. The idea of so-called Nordic exceptionalism in aid, humanitarianism, peace-building, etc., is a pivoting point of the group’s work, which incorporates SUM’s pillar of the Nordic Branding project and ditto for the Nordic Civil Societies project.

The group’s members do research on:

  • How Norwegian and Nordic engagement abroad is shaped, practiced, and communicated;
  • The situation facing the Nordic countries’ international engagement in a time when traditional modes of operation are being challenged on several fronts;
  • The idea of the Nordics’ colonial innocence, and how it is used as topos in contemporary settings and situations;
  • The relation between the Nordic countries’ actual engagement abroad and the images presented of it domestically, cf. the «regime of goodness»;
  • What role civil society actors have played in Nordic engagement abroad, and how that role has changed – and is changing.
Published May 15, 2018 4:36 PM - Last modified Dec. 9, 2020 3:11 PM