Between Nordism and Nationalism: The Methods of the Norden Associations’ Educational Efforts, 1919–1965
Keywords:nationalism, Norden Association, interwar era, post-war era, international education
The Norden Associations (föreningarna Norden) were established in 1919 with the intention of promoting understanding and cooperation between the Nordic countries. The definition of “Norden” was negotiated from the very beginning, and Icelandic and Finnish associations were not established until the 1920s. Promoting understanding and cooperation was very much considered an educational effort, and Norden was imagined within educational efforts sponsored by the associations. In this regard, the associations had predecessors in the Nordic schoolteacher meetings that dated back to the age of Scandinavism in the middle of the nineteenth century. The Norden Associations created special school boards in the 1920s in order to both promote a more Nordic approach in some subjects—mainly language, geography, and history—and to promote cooperation between the countries, with the youth as the catalyst for a more Nordistic future. This article looks into how the Norden Associations imagined a Nordic school, in which a Nordic sentiment was established, and how this imagination related to the reality of the nationalistic school and to ideas of broader international cooperation, between which the “Nordic idea” has always been sandwiched. The article shows how the methods used effectively hindered the imagination of Norden and the “Nordic idea” beyond the scope of cooperation between nations.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This is an open access journal, which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles featured in the journal without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with definition of open access as formulated by the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI). All authors who publish in this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the NJEdH the right of first publication. The work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which allows others to share and distribute the work as long as it is attributed to the author and its initial publication in the NJEdH is acknowledged.
- Authors are encouraged to distribute the work themselves with information on its initial publication in the NJEdH, e.g. upload it to open repositories linked to their personal website or institutional affiliation, or publish it in a book.
The NJEdH is permitted non-exclusive distribution of the work, with attribution to the author, e.g. in a print book themed anthology.