New Book Release

The Oxford Handbook of Danish Politics

2020.08.14 | Birgit Kanstrup

Now joining the extensive collection of handbooks published by the prestigious Oxford University Press is “The Oxford Handbook of Danish Politics”. Edited by Peter Munk Christiansen, Jørgen Elklit, and Peter Nedergaard, the new handbook is a whopping 714 pages. With 41 chapters, the book boasts 50 contributors from universities all around the globe, with the majority stemming from Aarhus University and the University of Copenhagen. The volume is divided into three parts comprising 39 chapters, namely Polity, Politics, and Policy, supplemented by the editors’ preliminary and concluding chapters.

Describing such a comprehensive work in a few lines is difficult. Referring back to Fukuyama’s Getting to Denmark, the book’s last paragraph is titled “Still Worth Getting to Denmark?” The answer is yes. Denmark is in many ways a well-functioning society, and seen comparatively, Denmark has engaged and interested voters and efficient institutions. However, it is far from idyllic: Denmark, too, has dysfunctional institutions, and paradoxically enough, high public cost pressure means an almost constant pressure on public expenses. Moreover, Denmark has faced growing inequality in recent years – primarily as a consequence of political decisions rather than external globalisation. Even traditional Danish consensus is under pressure.

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