NEON debatten

Nordic responses to the Corona pandemic

Keynote by Professor Bo Rothstein followed by a discussion.

Differences in Nordic responses to Covid-19 have attracted global attention. Sweden's milder lockdown has surprised observers that have associated the state with strong forms of social control, with its “corona model” being hailed by the American right as well as many public health experts. It has triggered intense and continuous media reporting and a natural experiment for researchers.

Sweden’s divergence from its neighbors in the early stages of the lockdown also has raised questions about the idea of a collective Nordic model.  These differences among the Nordics provide a foundation for further comparative research, not only related to the management of the pandemic itself but also the reputation effect and the level of integration in the Nordic region. 

We ask to what extent the different strategies (degree of lockdown, legal interventions) as well as outcomes (e.g. death rates) may have been related to historically established institutional infrastructures, legal frameworks, as well as trust and accountability relations in the various Nordic countries.



Bo Rothstein is a Professor at University of Gothenburg, where he is head of the Quality of Government (QoG) Institute. 

Johan Strang is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Nordic Studies, the University of Helsinki.

Lise H. Rykkja is a Professor at the Department for Administration and Organization Theory, University of Bergen.

Haldor Byrkjeflot  is a Professor at the  Department of Sociology and Human Geography,  University of Oslo, and Adjunct researcher at the Center for Civil Society Studies, Copenhagen Business School.

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