Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World (ReNEW): An Excellence Hub in Research, Education and Public Outreach

ReNEW (Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World) is a research hub established to enhance cooperation to develop new and path-breaking excellence in research about the Nordic region. This will be done by enhancing research capabilities - through mobility, exchange, high-level conferences, and education - among six Nordic universities in one strategic and world-leading hub researching the Nordic region. It brings together multiple disciplines and scholarship providing a new more collective approach to otherwise existing single initiatives within the social sciences, humanities, economics and other disciplines that engage with the Nordic region. The Nordic region has attracted renewed global interest during the last decade.

The Nordics with its competitiveness and innovation married with equality and well-being it is proclaimed e.g. by the Economist as The Next Supermodel. Topping many global indexes in terms of happiness, competitiveness and equality, the Nordic states have featured as models in the debates during the 2016 US election, the Brexit and Scottish independence referenda, and debates over gender policy and social investment in the EU and beyond.

This interest has created worldwide demand for knowledge about the Nordics and the Nordic region as a living research object worthy of emulation for regions and countries across the globe, whether it concerns the economics of the tripartite model and small state economic success, the politics of gender equality and penal humanitarianism, the cultural innovations in New Nordic cuisine, Nordic design and Nordic Noir, or the Nordic Social Investment model.

However there is a danger, that such instrumentalised and self-congratulatory modelling, risks creating an overly positive and one-dimensional picture of the Nordic-models. A cross-disciplinary analysis of the Janus-face of Nordic responses to global challenges is needed, in order to understand their paradoxes, added-value and limitations. ReNEW aims to be the leading centre of research and teaching excellence globally within themes such as Nordic Co-operation, Gender and Equality, Public Policy, Welfare and Labour Markets, Nordic Democracy and Governance, Branding and Nordic Reputation, Multiculturalism and Integration/Diversity and Globalization. RENEW enables cooperation and partnerships between top researchers and decision makers from the public, private and third sectors.



Lise-Lotte Wallenius

Senior Adviser