Oslo, Norway

Nordic Civil Society – a model for the world?

online course
when 5 July 2021 - 9 July 2021
language English
duration 1 week
credits 8 EC
fee NOK 4000

‘Nordic Civil Society – a model for the world?’ studies the role of civil society associations in Norden and beyond, and their roles in relation to the Nordic model of society. Focusing on voluntary associations’ roles between the state, the market and the private sphere, we wish to explore new perspectives on ideas and practices which often are understood as particularly Nordic.

The high membership rates in voluntary associations makes the Nordic countries ideal cases for investigating links between civil society and democratic governance. In the Nordic countries, the nexus between state and civil societies has had consequences for the Nordic model of society, for co-operation within the Nordic region, and for Nordic global engagement. The course studies these dynamics and consequences, asking how civil societies’ global, transnational and regional interactions may have shaped ideas about Norden.

The course is organised in a format comprising lectures and seminars. The lectures will focus on the course curriculum, while the seminars will be in-depth discussions of literature and the PhD candidates’ own essays.

Course leader

Associate Professor Sunniva Engh

Target group

PhD students, graduate or postgraduate student or professional from any social science field of study or related disciplines.

Course aim

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

- Formulate PhD-level research questions about civil societies in the Nordic countries and beyond and discuss the potential roles and functions of civil societies.
- Critically engage with discussions on the potential of comparative methods in the humanities and social sciences.
- Discuss and critically engage with the concept of the Nordic model, and its uses in academic literature.
- Develop original ideas about the possibilities and limits of the concepts of civil society and the Nordic model, and identifying original ways of engaging with these.
- Improve their writing skills, through seminar discussions and feedback.

Credits info

8 EC
A completed course including submission of an approved paper is awarded 8 ECTS.

Fee info

NOK 4000: The participation fee includes:
Partial covering of expenses towards administration and honorarium for lecturers.


Oslo Summer School for Social Sciences does not have any grants or scholarships. All costs in relation to participation in our courses must be paid by participants themselves, or by their institution.