COURSE: The Resilience of the Nordic Model

Course content

The Nordic countries are often at the top of the league in rankings on competitiveness, good governance, innovation and happiness. However, the resilience of the Nordic model is challenged. The welfare state is popular, not because it is big, but only when it works. This demands a constant focus on performance. However, performance is difficult to ensure and public sector reforms often lead to unintended consequences. This course provides an integrated framework, which can be employed in the analysis of welfare reform and service provision based on the interaction between steering, motivation and performance. Theory on motivational forms and their potential for securing public service provision is discussed. Recent empirical research on the importance of the perception of steering and how this is influenced by leadership styles is presented. Performance is conceptualized as a multidimensional construct. Examples of the associations between the central concepts are drawing attention to topics such as leadership, digitalization, administrative burdens, public-private interaction, user-capacity and citizen involvement. During the course the students produce and get feed-back on a written exam-paper focusing on a selected problem-area within welfare state management.


Master Students: 7.5 ECTs

Bachelor students: 10 ECTS

Learning outcome

At the end of the course the students will be able to


  1. Account for selected theories, methods and problem-areas which are relevant to welfare-state management at the highest academic level


  1. Compare and contrast, evaluate and discuss key concepts, approaches and  expectations from different theories and approaches


  1. Identify any needs for further research within the research literature based on the most recent Danish and international research results


  1. Independently formulate an academic research question related to steering, motivation, leadership and performance in the welfare-state.


  1. Apply theories and approaches that are relevant for the analysis of steering, motivation, leadership and performance in the welfare-state.


  1. Construct and communicate comprehensive and succinct written analysis and discussion in a well-reasoned and academic manner 



7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Written assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • English
  • 28