Why Look North? Scrutinizing the Danish Way of Governing Societal Challenges

Peter Triantafillou, Andreas Hagedorn Krogh, Annika Agger

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In the twenty-first century, societies around the world are facing a wide range of daunting global mega-challenges: poverty, unemployment, income inequality, unequal distribution of political power, ageing populations, uncontrolled migration, segregated urbanisation, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and a massive decrease in biodiversity. In recent years, politicians, journalists and academic observers have singled out the Nordic countries, Denmark in particular, as model societies of trusting and happy people that have handled many of these challenges with remarkable effectiveness. And yet others warn against ‘becoming Denmark,’ painting a picture of a dysfunctional, socialist nightmare with high taxes, low job motivation and a general lack of private initiative. In this introductory chapter, the editors cut through the noise of the international debate and set the scene for the nuanced analyses presented here of contemporary public governance in Demark and its capacity to tackle some of the most pressing problems of our time. Specifically, the chapter discusses various conceptualisations of the Danish welfare state, delineates some of its most important historical and structural traits and outlines the main empirical features of contemporary Danish public governance. Finally, it outlines the structure of the book and briefly introduces each of its subsequent chapters.
TitelPublic Governance in Denmark : Meeting the Global Mega-Challenges of the 21st Century?
RedaktørerAndreas Hagedorn Krogh, Annika Agger, Peter Triantafillou
Antal sider18
UdgivelsesstedBingley, UK
ForlagEmerald Group Publishing
ISBN (Trykt)9781800437135
ISBN (Elektronisk)9781800437128
StatusUdgivet - 2022


  • Nordic welfare states
  • Denmark
  • Mega-challenges
  • Public governance
  • Public policy
  • Public administration

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