Why do the citizens of Scandinavian countries rank highest internationally in terms of prosperity and welfare? A speaker from Norway will explain why he believes the top rankings are a function of the Scandinavian countries’ political systems.

Harald Saetren will describe the main features of the welfare state and political system in those countries

What are the main features of the welfare state and political system in the Scandinavian countries? How sustainable is their generous welfare systems in a world of increasing economic globalization and competition?  The speaker will use easily available public data sources to answer these intriguing questions.

Saetren is a political science professor emeritus from the University of Bergen in Norway.  His academic career started in 1973 working on a government sponsored research project whose mandate was to investigate the distribution of power in  Norwegian society with a view towards how that affected the operation of the political system.

Harald Saetren

In the 1980s he was part of publishing several books and reports from this internationally unique research project. That included his doctoral dissertation focusing on the political influence of the parliament, the executive branch, economic interest groups, citizens’ initiatives and the media in a highly controversial and policy-making process.

After the Power study project, Saetren held an assistant professorship position at the Norwegian School of Business and Administration from 1977 until 1980. Then he took a similar position at the University of Bergen where he became a full professor in 1985 and stayed there until his retirement in 2015.

He spent his sabbatical leaves abroad as visiting professor at the University of Arizona, Harvard and Stanford universities.   His international publications during the last 20 years have examined the factors that enhance or impede public policy implementation.

Written by Harald Saetren, Academy Village Volunteer



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