The Nordic Models: Resilience in Changing Times
Croke Park, 17th November 2011

In the run-up to Budget 2012, much of the debate is about the immediate choices facing us. However, it is also useful to take a step back and think about our longer-term choices – choices about different economic and social models and how they can be applied to Ireland.

The Nordic countries are often viewed as being enviably successful, enjoying economic efficiency and growth combined with peaceful labour relations, social cohesion, a fair distribution of income and high quality of life. Although critics have questioned the sustainability of this success, not least due to the challenges of globalisation, the models of development adopted by the Nordic countries (generally referring to Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) have proven to be relatively resilient in the face of the global economic and financial crisis. It should, of course, be noted that there are some important differences between these models.
This seminar is intended to bring a more nuanced understanding of the Nordic Models to an Irish audience and to explore the challenges facing their sustainability in an increasingly global economy. The effects of high social investment and taxes on their economies and societies are examined, as well as lessons that can be exchanged between Ireland and the Nordic countries.

14:00-16:00 Lessons that can be Exchanged between Ireland and the Nordic Countries
Chair: Dr Mary Murphy (Lecturer in Irish Politics and Society, Department of Sociology, NUI Maynooth)
Dr Robin Wilson (independent researcher and member of TASC Council)
Ambassador Pertti Majanen (Finnish Ambassador to Ireland)
Prof Peadar Kirby (Professor of International Politics and Public Policy, University of Limerick)
Dr Baldur Thorhallsson (Jean Monnet Professor of Political Science, University of Iceland)

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