International Ideas versus National Traditions: Nordic Economic and Public Policy as Proposed by the OECD

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

By an analysis of the OECD’s recommendations to reform Nordic public and economic policy, this article seeks to assess the OECD’s influence in Nordic politics. OECD recommendations are placed at the juncture of internationally acknowledged ideas and national traditions thus being potentially useful for national policy makers trying to deal with this tension. During the post-war period the Nordic countries found an original combination of international ideas and national traditions, involving a combination of economic efficiency and social equality. The OECD acknowledges this tradition in various ways but seeks to reform Nordic public policy according to a different, and in many ways opposite logic. OECD recommendations for Nordic countries typically include lower income taxes, lower levels of social security benefits, individual level wage setting, more relaxed employment protection legislation, an increase of the labour supply and a balanced budget. In spite of existing evidence of regime stability it is not possible to exclude OECD influence in Nordic public and economic policy as past reforms correspond in many ways to these recommendations. This, in turn, raises the question of the democratic legitimacy of the way in which reforms are prepared.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of power
Volume5
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)455-473
Number of pages18
ISSN1754-0291
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 517 Political science
  • OECD
  • NORDIC COUNTRIES
  • Ideas
  • Power
  • LEGITIMACY
  • 5142 Social policy
  • OECD
  • NORDIC COUNTRIES
  • Ideas
  • Power
  • LEGITIMACY

Cite this