A recurring mantra in French political debate: reference to the Nordic model

A paper issued in FRENCH POLITICS, June 18, ovl. 16, issue 2, p. 213-230

By Nathalie Blanc-Noel, Bordeaux University, IRM-CMRP, Dspeg College.

Reference to the Nordic model is very common in French political debate. The Nordic model has also inspired many French laws and reforms. However, actual knowledge about Nordic countries is rather poor in France. On the academic side, there is an ancient but tiny literary interest for these countries, whereas for social sciences they are an object still rarely studied. On the journalistic and political side, interest for the Nordic model has varied along with broader political context and tends to serve various political uses. The result is that trendy references to the Nordic model maylead to misunderstandings in the French political debate.

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