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European Journal of Scandinavian Studies

Ed. by Böldl, Klaus / Rühling, Lutz / van der Liet, Henk

2 Issues per year

CiteScore 2017: 0.02

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.100
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.188

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Return to sender – American Images of the Nordic Welfare States and Nordic Welfare State Branding

Post. Doc. Carl Marklund
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  • Centre for Baltic and East European Studies, Södertörn University, Alfred Nobels allé 7, Flemingsberg, S-14189 Huddige
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/ Professor Klaus Petersen
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  • Centre for Welfare State Research, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK 5230 Odense M
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Published Online: 2013-10-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ejss-2013-0016


In this article, we study the relationship between the United States of America and Norden, first showing how images of the Nordic model were constructed and reproduced in the United States from the 1920s until the 1960s. We find both utopias and dystopias in these narratives. Second, the article argues that these American images, narratives, and stereotypes did not only fulfill a function in the American debate, but were also relayed back to Norden, and affected debate, nation-branding strategies, and self-understandings there. During the Cold War, furthermore, the Nordic welfare state image gained a new currency which reached well beyond national borders, far into transnational space.

About the article

Published Online: 2013-10-09

Published in Print: 2013-10-01

Citation Information: European Journal of Scandinavian Studies, Volume 43, Issue 2, Pages 245–257, ISSN (Online) 2191-9402, ISSN (Print) 2191-9399, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ejss-2013-0016.

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