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

Peter Triantafillou (Roskilde University,Denmark)
Andreas Hagedorn Krogh (Royal Danish Defence College, Denmark)
Annika Agger (Roskilde University, Denmark)

Public Governance in Denmark

ISBN: 978-1-80043-713-5, eISBN: 978-1-80043-712-8

Publication date: 23 February 2022


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.



Triantafillou, P., Krogh, A.H. and Agger, A. (2022), "Why Look North? Scrutinising the Danish Way of Governing Societal Challenges", Krogh, A.H., Agger, A. and Triantafillou, P. (Ed.) Public Governance in Denmark, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 1-18.



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