Month: July 2012

Small is beautiful

Small is Beautiful – Digital Notes Nordic local government works in much smaller units than Scotland or England. Their municipalities gather taxes and run education, health and housing. The average Norwegian municipality has a population of 12,500, the average Scottish council 162,500. Scotland has the largest “local” councils in Europe and politicians want functions merged further to save money. How do small Nordic councils avoid post code lotteries? Do Nordic voters feel there’s expensive duplication? Do small burgh-sized councils transform communities? And how have recently merged municipalities fared? Nordic Speakers included – Bertil Klintbom, Gotland Municipality, Sweden and Professor Roger Buch, Aarhus University, Denmark. Contact Us

The Writing of the new Icelandic Constitution

The Writing of the new Icelandic Constitution This was a great meeting on March 29th 2012 in Parliament with Professor Thorvaldur Gylfason who won the highest number of votes in elections for the Commission to write Iceland’s “crowd sourced” constitution. The ICC had no elected politicians – now the Icelandic Parliament are chewing over the radical changes a referendum to approve the constitution will take place on the same day in June as Presidential elections ( boosting turnout) or later in the autumn. Thor said many memorable things during the event – not least that he thinks anyone wanting an independent Scotland should consider handing the task of creating a new Constitution for Scotland to the people and should start the process now. Presentation You can liste...Read More

McKommunes – People-sized local government?

McKommunes – People-sized local government? – Digital Notes The success of the Nordic nations seems tied to their systems of small and powerful municipal government. Join our round-table discussion on whether ‘McKommunes’ might help to create a similarly successful society here and reverse the trend towards merger and centralisation. With guest speakers Rob Gibson MSP (SNP, Caithness, Sutherland & Ross), Sarah Boyack MSP (Scottish Labour, Lothian; Local Government Spokesperson), Eberhard ‘Paddy’ Bort, Academic Coordinator of the Institute of Governance at Edinburgh University and Professor Mike Danson, Reader in Economics and Management at the University of the West of Scotland. . Professor Mike Danson, Reader in Economics and Management at the University of the...Read More

The Revolution will be Nordic

The Revolution will be Nordic – Event Details As Scotland tries to find its way in a global economy that is in crisis we ask whether the Nordic Model offers a way forward to a more stable and just society. Join our round-table discussion on the strengths of the Nordic approach to social and economic policy, its weaknesses, and what it has to offer to Scotland (and the UK). With special guest Mary Hilson, author of ‘The Nordic Model: Scandinavia since 1945’. Chaired by Lesley Riddoch, writer and broadcaster.As Scotland tries to find its way in a global economy that is in crisis we ask whether the Nordic Model offers a way forward to a more stable and just society. Our special guest Mary Hilson, author of ‘The Nordic Model: Scandinavia since 1945’ was up for tha...Read More

On Thin Ice – Is the far north safe in Nordic hands?

On Thin Ice – Is the far north safe in Nordic hands? – Digital Notes The North Sea oil spill has made our High North debate horribly topical all of a sudden. So has the news that Statoil’s latest North Sea oil discovery (in Aldous Major South) is the biggest in 20 years. So is the Far North safe in Nordic hands? Do the Norwegians have systems ready to close down leaks more quickly than the British sector and less secretive oil companies – if not can they honestly say Arctic drilling is safe or ethical? Rune Rafaelsen of the Barents Secretariat says “All industrial activities have a risk for accidents. For the people in the North it is a challenge to minimize the risks. But the answer for the people of the High North must be economic development.” Anna Kireeva of Bellona says “S...Read More

Finnish Penal Policy

Finnish Penal Policy – Event Details Tuesday 15 May at 18.00 at the Scottish Parliament – Committee Room 2.  Main speaker: Tapio Lappi-Seppälä, Director, National Research Institute of Legal Policy, Finland.  Hosted by Humza Yousaf MSP with Nordic Horizons sponsorship.   Finland had one of the highest prison populations in western Europe until the 1970s. Since then, the imprisonment rate has fallen to the low Nordic average but crime rates have stayed the same. Today, Finland has 59 prisoners per 100,000 of population; Scotland has 153. Finnish reform began when academics in the 60s argued criminal policy should be part of social policy, with employment and educational opportunities, and they also pointed out there was no evidence of a link between long prison sentences and les...Read More

Finnish Lessons

Finnish Lessons – Event Details Hosted by the Convenor of the Education and Lifelong Learning Committee, Stewart Maxwell MSP. Sponsored by the Finnish Embassy with Nordic Horizons Wednesday May 2, 6.30pm at the Scottish Parliament, Committee Room 1 “The story of Finland’s extraordinary educational reforms is one that should inform policymakers and educators around the world. This book is a must read.” Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University. Pasi Sahlberg’s book Finnish Lessons helps explains why Finland’s education system regularly tops world league tables for results, happiness of children, levels of literacy and esteem of teachers. The Finnish education system is so often cited as a blueprint one Scottish union leader said he was fed up hearing abo...Read More

Norway, independence, social democracy and Scotland’s referendum

Norway, independence, social democracy and Scotland’s referendum – Event Details Norway, independence, social democracy and Scotland’s referendum” organised by Nordic Horizons and the Public Policy Network Øivind Bratberg is a post doctoral researcher at the Department of Political Science, University of Oslo. His primary research interests include social democracy and the Nordic model as well as British party politics and devolution. Øivind is co-author of The Nordic Model of Social Democracy (forthcoming at Palgrave, 2013) and runs the British Politics Society and newsletter in Oslo University www.britishpoliticssociety.no. He’ll be looking at Norway’s evolution through devolution and independence into the social democracy it is today and drawing paral...Read More

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