International conference in Oslo 20-21 March, 2017, organized by UiO:Nordic, a strategic initiative at the University of Oslo.
UiO:Nordic intends to provide new knowledge about the Nordic countries and models, including their historical preconditions, challenges, paradoxes and opportunities for the future.
The aim of the conference is to present the initiative to a broader audience and establish an international forum for researchers who work with issues related to Nordic experiences. Such a forum may critically examine the idea of a Nordic model but also contribute to an international dialogue about strategic and political choices, social and cultural development, and sustainable solutions for the future.
Presentations from POLKOM:
Christopher Wilson, Department of Media and Communications, UiO:
Overconfidence in Open Government: a “Nordic Model” for ineffective implementation of the Open Government Partnership.
Recent evaluations of Nordic performance in the OGP provides insights into why Nordic governments preach transparency and openness abroad, but fail to implement such approaches at home. Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden have demonstrated remarkable similarities in implementing the open government partnership, a multilateral initiative by which governments commit to increase transparency and empower citizens. Despite high levels political engagement, independent review mechanisms in each country have surfaced comparable challenges related to lack of coordination, awareness and political engagement. Most notably, research in each country suggests a perception among mid-level bureaucrats that openness and transparency are so central to the Nordic model of governance as to render implementation of the Partnership redundant. Tensions between these perceptions, high level statements regarding transparency in other countries, and poor marks for transparency and openness at home, suggest a need to rethink Nordic perspectives on governance and transparency. This article will consider primary research in all four countries to assess the interaction of national and international norms, and appropriate policy responses to strengthen implementation of international governance mechanisms in Nordic countries.
Øyvind Ihlen and Eli Skogerbø, Department of Media and Communications, UiO:
The making and circulation of Nordic models
As many other nations, the Nordic countries are facing daunting challenges to society (climate change, migration, terrorism, etc.). In this context, the question of social resilience becomes crucial. One important aspect in this regard is the social capacity to handle conflict. Social conflicts might range from huge, open confrontations, to criticism and clashes of opinions or minor frictions that are easily handled or can be mitigated through early intervention. The treatment of conflict is important since frustration among citizen groups might have political consequences. At the same time, some level of conflict is important in order to keep the political alive (Mouffe, 2005). Social resilience can also be said to be about striking the right balance in this regard. The Nordic countries are interesting as there rarely are dramatic strikes like in the UK or France. Characteristically, the political culture has also made it possible for NGOs to receive public funding despite being vocal critics of the state. In this paper we discuss how conflict is handled in different social sectors like politics, the media and business/organisations.
Gunn Enli and Trine Syvertsen, Department of Media and Communications, UiO:
Cooperation in the Media Sector: Private Business and the Public Interest
This paper focuses on private media businesses in Norway and their relationship with the state and the public interest. The paper is part of a research project Private media and the public interest, which is a joint study with the Free University of Brussels, comparing private media in Norway and Flanders. The starting point for the project is that despite liberalization of media, there is still significant regulation and public intervention in the media sector, as in other sectors. There is also significant public-private and state-business cooperation (see, for example, Raats and Pauwels 2013). Yet, more is known about the public and state side of the relationship, and there is less knowledge of how private media businesses value the cooperative system and which strategies they use towards the state.