As Andrew Scott points out, Australians have a limited and very clichéd knowledge of the Nordic countries. Recently, we have come to appreciate Scandinavia for its bleak police dramas, of which The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is probably the best known. For the right, Scandinavia has long represented socialist excess, which merges with vague notions of unlimited sexuality. The reality is that Sweden, at least, has adopted some laws around sex work and sex venues which are far more stringent than those in Australia. For the left, the Scandinavian nations have represented the hope of a liberal democratic egalitarianism, with taxation and welfare policies that are far more successful than ours.
Dennis Altman reviews 'Northern Lights' by Andrew Scott
Northern Lights : The Positive Policy Example of Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway
by by Andrew Scott
Monash University Publishing, $39.95 pb, 216 pp, 9781921867927
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Dennis Altman is a Professorial Fellow in Human Security at La Trobe University. He is the author, with Jon Symons, of Queer Wars (Polity, 2016).
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