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

2012 – How the Finns emptied their prisons

Tapio Lappi-Seppälä, Director, National Research Institute of Legal Policy, Finland. MAY 2012  The open prison on the island of Suomenlimma near Helsinki is an astonishing place. The 100 prisoners living there learn stonemasonry and other skills to help keep the 19th century stone fortress intact. They’re paid a wage and the tiny municipality of 400 people voted to have them there. Some of the astonishing facts that confronted members of the Scottish Prisons Commission on a visit in 2008 – after which the Finnish Penal system formed the basis of the Community Payback system recommended by Commission Chair Henry McLeish and adopted by the Scottish Government. Finland had one of the highest prison populations in western Europe until the 1970s. Since then, the imprisonment rate ha...Read More

2012 – How does Finnish education stay streets ahead?

This event in May 2012 was hosted by the Convenor of the Education and Lifelong Learning Committee, Stewart Maxwell MSP and sponsored by the Finnish Embassy with Nordic Horizons ‘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. The book in question is Pasi Sahlberg’s Finnish Lessons which 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 that one Scottish union leader said he was fed up hearing about it! Most educationists, policy-makers and pa...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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