The Nordic Edge - Policy Possibilities for Australia

Climate and energy. Work/life balance. Mining taxes. Progress on policy issues like these is essential, and yet they have become subject to the most rancorous partisanship, the precipitation of culture wars, and have brought down governments.

In The Nordic Edge, published by Melbourne University Press, a selection of Australia Institute researchers and guest authors show how Nordic nations have secured progress across a range of crucial public policy areas while simultaneously increasing prosperity and community wellbeing.

Nordic countries have taken a 'ja, we can' approach to independent foreign policy, prison reform, gender equality, retraining for workforce participation, media diversity, and the electric transport revolution. Australia could do the same.

The Nordic Edge book cover

Within the pages of this brand new publication you will find a suite of contributions from Australia Institute researchers, including a foreword by Executive Director Ben Oquist and analysis from The Australia Institute's Convenor of the Nordic Policy Centre Professor Andrew Scott and Research Director Rod Campbell.

Australia Institute Deputy Director Ebony Bennett writes on media diversity and the importance of public broadcasting while Chief Economist Dr Richard Denniss and Senior Economist Matt Grudnoff discuss international comparisons of tax rates and economic performance.

Climate & Energy Program Director Richie Merzian and Energy Policy & Regulatory Lead Dan Cass consider 'Scandiplomacy' and our common climate future, while Climate & Energy Researcher Audrey Quicke discusses Norway's world leading electric vehicle policies.


The Nordic Edge explores policies adopted by Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland and the exciting possibilities they provide to overcome Australia's seemingly intractable problems.

The Nordic Edge was listed in The Mandarin's 2021 Essential 2021 reading guide for Australian public servants. 

You can order your copy HERE

Praise for The Nordic Edge: 

“The great strength of The Nordic Edge lies in the practicalities it explores…[with] plenty of ideas that could be applied in Australia… [It will] find its most responsive readers among those who are seeking better public policy and are not shackled by beliefs that all public expenditure is wasteful and that governments are intrinsically incompetent. It could well contribute to the policy platform of an aspiring social democratic party”.

- Inside Story/The Canberra Times

“Scott and Campbell illustrate…[that] the Nordic nations have become increasingly multicultural in recent decades, accepting a large number of refugees. Tensions have emerged, but they have not…imperilled the bloc’s commitment to strongly progressive taxation and transfers. …[so] why doesn’t Australia look more like Finland or Denmark? Scott and Campbell suggest it could and should – nothing is holding us back but our own closed-mindedness to models beyond the Anglosphere…a welcome invitation for Australians to reconsider northern Europe’s leading policy example. Progressive policymakers should heed its advice”.

- Crikey

“Outstanding work”.

- The Mandarin

“Remind[s] us that our current dismal trajectory is not immutable and ideas from other parts of the world can set us to thinking – and acting”.

- Arena



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  • NordicPolicyCentre
    published this page in Publications 2021-06-21 15:26:38 +1000

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