Norden - en europæisk forskningsregion? (NordForsks mulighed for at udvikle Norden til en europæisk forskningsregion set på baggrund af den forskningspolitiske udvikling i EU og Norden 1970-2008)

Morten Johannes Winstrup Hansen & Toke Morell Neve

Studenteropgave: Speciale


It is a generally accepted idea that the basis for the future of the economies, of not just the Nordic countries but of EU as a whole, is a transition to a (more) knowledge based economy. An important tool to achieve this goal is research policy. The background to this thesis is the feasibility and chances for success of a common Nordic research policy, since the Nordic countries by themselves all have relatively small populations. Taken together, though, the population of the Nordic countries is enough to achieve what is often termed “critical mass” in research programs, and thus makes the Nordic region a significant player in or contributor to international research schemes. Especially in relation to EU, the Nordic countries are in a good position to make a common effort, since all are either members (Denmark, Finland, Sweden) or part of the EEA agreement through EFTA (Iceland, Norway). At the same time the regional cooperation between the Nordic countries has a long history and long established organizations through both the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers. In this thesis we analyze Nordic and EU research policy in the period 1970-2008 and what characterizes each of these. In addition to this historical analysis, we make a case study of the Nordic research institution NordForsk. We then use the results from this historical analysis in conjunction with the case study to see if, how and under which conditions NordForsk can be used to develop the Nordic region as a European research region. Thus the thesis covers both History and Public Administration. We have found that EU research policy has generally been characterized more by industrial or innovation policy than by the kind of broad research policy, including basic research, which is typically found in the member states, and their commitment has been half hearted at best. Nordic research policy has been characterized by an overshadowing emphasis on consensus and grass roots ad hoc solutions, and lacked member states’ commitment and an overarching goal. We see a clear possibility in NordForsk as the only true Nordic research policy institution, but it is necessary to expand its mandate and especially the commitment of the Nordic states to a common agenda to achieve the kind of synergies, that make such a Nordic institution relevant. In the absence of such initiatives an institution such as NordForsk is of relatively small significance, although it may yield good results by supporting a few small projects.

UddannelserOffentlig Administration, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) KandidatHistorie, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato26 maj 2009
VejledereLennart Roger Berntsson


  • EU
  • forskning
  • Norden
  • NordForsk
  • forskningspolitik