Featured Plenary Panels

Friday Plenary Panel: “Reconsidering the Nordic Model”

The conference will open with a plenary panel on “Reconsidering the Nordic Model,” considering the impact of neoliberalism and the endurance of the Nordic model.

  • Panelists: Torben Iversen (Harvard University), Chris Howell (Oberlin College), and Cathie Jo Martin (Boston University).

The first plenary panel on “Reconsidering the Nordic Model” opens with introductions by Cathie Jo Martin (Boston University), Peter Stadius (Director of ReNEW) and Nicola Anne Witcombe (Nordics.info). 

Saturday Plenary Panel: “The Nordic Model in a Global Context”

The conference will also include a second plenary panel on “The Nordic Model in a Global Context,” considering the role of the Nordic model in a globalizing world.

  • Panelists: Herman Mark Schwartz (University of Virginia), Jette Steen Knudsen (Tufts University), John Campbell (Dartmouth College), and Haldor Byrkjeflot (University of Oslo).

It will close with a presentation by Norbert Gøtz of the 5th Nordic Challenges Conference 1-3 June 2022 at Södertörn University in Stockholm. There will also be a short closing ceremony with address by Peter Stadius.

Panelist Presentations

Torben Iversen

Torben Iversen is Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy in the Government Department at Harvard University. His research and teaching interests include comparative political economy, electoral politics, and applied formal theory. He is the author of Democracy and Prosperity: Reinventing Capitalism through a Turbulent Century (Princeton UP 2019) (with David Soskice), Women, Work, and Politics: The Political Economy of Gender Inequality (Yale UP 2010) (with Frances Rosenbluth), Capitalism, Democracy, and Welfare (Cambridge UP 2005), and Contested Economic Institutions (Cambridge UP 1999). He is also the author or co-author of about four dozen articles on comparative politics and political economy in leading social science journals and edited volumes. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been a Hoover National Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a BP Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics.

Chris Howell

Chris Howell is the James Monroe Professor of Politics at Oberlin College. He also holds an honorary professor position in the Work and Organizational Studies Discipline at the University of Sydney Business School, and a research associate fellow position in the Center for European Studies at Sciences Po in Paris. His research is in the fields of comparative politics, comparative political economy and industrial relations. He has published numerous articles on labor politics, comparative political economy and left parties in Western Europe, and three books, of which the most recent is Trajectories of Neoliberal Transformation: European Industrial Relations Since the 1970s (co-author Lucio Bacccaro) with Cambridge University Press.

“My interest is in the trajectory of industrial relations across the advanced capitalist world, and the extent to which national trajectories are similar or different. In many ways Nordic industrial relations appear resilient and resistant to liberalization pressures and neoliberal ideology. Familiar measures, such as union density and collective bargaining coverage remain high, and current forms of multi-employer, multi-sectoral coordinated bargaining evoke familiar corporatist institutions and practices. That judgement is complacent. Liberalization of industrial relations has taken place, largely through a change in the functioning of institutions and shifts in the balance of power resources. Individualization and decentralization of bargaining, deregulation of the labor market and an expansion of employer discretion inside the firm have all marked Nordic industrial relations, even if they have taken a different form from more overtly neoliberal political economies.”

Cathie Jo Martin

Cathie Jo Martin is professor of Political Science at Boston University, former chair of the Council for European Studies and former president of the Comparative Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. Her book with Duane Swank, The Political Construction of Business Interests (Cambridge 2012) received the APSA Politics and History book award. In 2013-2014, she co-chaired with Jane Mansbridge an APSA presidential task force on political negotiation, which produced Negotiating Agreement in Politics (Brookings 2015). Martin is also author of Stuck in Neutral: Business and the Politics of Human Capital Investment Policy (Princeton 2000), Shifting the Burden: the Struggle over Growth and Corporate Taxation (Chicago 1991), and articles in the American Political Science Review, World Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies and Socio-Economic Review among others. Martin has held fellowships at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Russell Sage Foundation, Boston University Center for the Humanities and University of Copenhagen. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, German Marshall Fund, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Danish Social Science Research Council, Boston University Hariri Institute for Computing and National Science Foundation. She received her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987 and an honorary doctorate from the University of Southern Denmark in October 2019. Martin’s current book project explores how British and Danish authors contribute to the deep cultural roots of education reform.

Jette Steen Knudsen

Jette Steen Knudsen is Professor of Policy and International Business and holds the Shelby Collum Davis Chair in Sustainability. She has also been appointed as a Velux Fellow at Copenhagen Business School. Her research centers on the interface between government regulation and business actions with a particular focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). She studies the ability of governments in economically advanced industrialized nations to promote social change through regulation of social practices of home country multinationals in developing countries. Her 2017 book (with Jeremy Moon) is titled Visible Hands: Government Regulation of Corporate Social Responsibility in Global Business (Cambridge University Press, 2017). She has published in journals such as British Journal of Industrial Relations, Business and Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Business Ethics, Policy and Politics, Political Studies and Regulation and Governance. From 2003-2007 Knudsen headed a government-sponsored think tank, The Copenhagen Centre for CSR. She then served as project leader of a CSR task force for the CEO at Maersk, a shipping, oil and retail conglomerate. Knudsen graduated from MIT in 2001 with a Ph.D. in Political Science.

Herman Mark Schwartz

Herman Mark Schwartz (Ph.D. Cornell) is a professor in the Politics department of the University of Virginia and the Batten School of Public Policy. He is the author of three books on economic development, globalization, and, most recently, the geo-politics of the subprime mortgage crisis in Subprime Nation: American Power, Global Capital and the Housing Bubble. He is also co-editor of four books on Denmark’s welfare state, employment policy, the politics of housing finance, and the global financial crisis, as well as the author of over 60 articles and chapters. He has taught in Britain, Canada, Denmark, Korea, and Norway.

“The Nordics displayed their usual strengths in the face of the corona virus crisis of 2020, namely high social cohesion and a negotiated response to the related macro-economic shock. Nonetheless in all their strengths were also forces for endogenous decay. Successful shifts from fordist production towards a knowledge economy created an increasingly dualized labor market in which the bottom tier contained a substantial proportion of darker and different immigrants, potentially polarizing support for the welfare state. This successful shift also caused a sharp polarization among firms as well, in economies already dominated by only a handful of successful leading firms, potentially polarizing the institutional basis for negotiated adaptation. Success maintaining a relatively egalitarian income distribution and a robust welfare state created a broad class of creditworthy potential home buyers, putting enormous upward pressure on housing prices and creating a second axis for polarization. And extremely high levels of household debt increasingly hampered macro-economic policy. Will the Nordics be able to navigate their way out of this latest set of contradictions?”

John Campbell

John L. Campbell is the Class of 1925 Professor in the Department of Sociology, Dartmouth College.  His recent books include The Paradox of Vulnerability: States, Nationalism and the Financial Crisis (Princeton University Press, 2017), American Discontent: The Rise of Donald Trump and Decline of the Golden Age (Oxford University Press, 2018), The World of States (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and What Capitalism Needs: Forgotten Lessons of Great Economists (Cambridge University Press, 2021).  He is currently writing a post-mortem on the Trump presidency entitled The Damage is Done: Tipping Points, Institutional Change and Trump’s Attack on the Deep State (Cambridge University Press, 2023).

Haldor Byrkjeflot

Haldor Byrkjeflot is professor at Department of Sociology and Human Geography at University of Oslo. He has been academic director of the strategic initiative UIO:Nordic at University of Oslo and has also initiated a Nordic strategic university hub related to research on the Nordics in a global context (ReNEW) with six Nordic universities as partners. His research interests include the emergence and circulation of societal and organizational models, organization theory, bureaucracy as well as historical-comparative studies. He has published articles on comparative management, the globalization of the MBA, changing knowledge regimes in universities, comparative labor systems, the role of bureaucracy in modern societies and reforms and organizational dynamics in health and education. Most recently he has coedited a forthcoming book on The Making and Circulation of Nordic Models, ideas and images (Routledge 2021). Byrkjeflot has Phd from Department of Organization and Public Administration at University of Bergen, as well as graduate studies at department of Sociology University of California, Berkeley. Haldor has been visiting scholar at University of Berkeley, Stanford University, Harvard University, Freie Universität, Berlin, Max Planck institut, Cologne and Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen.