Dennis Altman reviews 'Northern Lights' by Andrew Scott

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

Dennis Altman

Dennis Altman

Dennis Altman is a Professorial Fellow in Human Security at La Trobe University, and the author of fourteen books. His most recent


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.

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Published in March 2015, no. 369

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