This course will examine several different ways in which the people, institutions, and states of Scandinavia (i.e., the Nordic Region) intersect with the affairs of the world at large, and what some of the effects of this interaction are, both within the Nordic Region and beyond. The entire scope of “Scandinavia and World Issues” is far too broad to deal with in one semester, so we will concentrate our investigation around several key focal points and case studies. These include an overview of the politics and social institutions in the Nordic welfare states, an overview of Nordic foreign policies, key moments in Nordic involvement with the European Union and the United Nations, the Oslo Peace Process, the Mohammed caricature controversy, and Nordic foreign aid and involvement in economic development and globalization. In all of these areas we will attempt to situate that which is specifically Nordic within a larger global context.
This course brings together students and scholars from several different disciplines. As SCAN 322 it counts towards the Scandinavian major, the Norwegian major and minor, and the Global Studies major and minor—in both the Development and Social Justice and the Responses to International Violence and Conflict concentrations. As POLS 322 it counts towards the Political Science major and minor. This interdisciplinarity will give all of us valuable opportunities to learn from each other and from our diverse scholarly backgrounds and approaches to the material. I hope we can work together to develop a vibrant and productive community of learning and inquiry.