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Renewing the Nordic Model (REN) (completed)

How can we forge a cooperative society in a competitive world?

About the project

The second half of the twentieth century saw a maturation of the Nordic cooperative model. At the same time, the emergence of neoliberalism  accellerated  competition-driven globalization. Today the Nordic "cooperative spirit" must relate to a global  market competition. This project studies the conditions of sustaining and renewing the Nordic cooperative society in an increasingly competitive world.


Our objective is to shed new light on cultural, economic and political mechanisms of the Nordic art of balancing competition and cooperation. The REN project studies the development of a cooperative ethos in Nordic cultures and school curricula, as well as the dynamics between cooperation and competition in business and political processes.

 The project attempts to answer the following questions:

  1. How can Nordic countries renew their models of cooperation as to better address challenges of the global market, climate change and increasing migration?

  2. What is the destiny of Nordic "prosocial" values at an international level? Is it possible and legitimate to universalise certain forms of cooperative society?

  3. To which degree can the interdiciplinarity of a project like our offer new insights of the cultural evolution of Nordic cooperative society? Can we overcome the legendary gap between the natural and the social  science? (CP Snow, «Two Cultures», 1959).

  4. Has the public realm in liberal democracies expanded or shrunk in the 21st Century? What role in this process has been played by such forces as the social media, EU legislation, institutionalization of the relationship between the state and the family, and the ethos of the intellectual elites?


In 2014 we established an interdisciplinary research collaboration between the American Evolution Institute (headed by the leading evolutionary scientist, David Sloan Wilson) and a group of Norwegian researchers representing such diverse fields as biology, cultural history, political science, economics and education. We take as our point of departure an interesting interface between the latest evolutionary science’ concern for successful group adaptation through cooperative, collective action, and an ongoing research on a sustainable and fair society in the humanist and the social sciences.




Published Jan. 19, 2016 11:26 AM - Last modified Oct. 5, 2020 2:37 PM