Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Aarhus University part of new research hub on the Nordic region

Six universities from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are participating in a new research hub that will examine Nordic responses to global challenges. The hub has been granted EUR 4.3 million.

19.01.2018 | Ulrik Albert Vosgerau

Foto: Colourbox.com

As part of ReNEW (Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World), Aarhus University will be responsible for communicating reliable, evidence-based information about the Nordic countries through the establishment of a new, free-to-access website in relation to the existing website danmarkshistorien.dk. Colleagues from several different departments at Aarhus University will also have the opportunity to participate in the hub’s other activities, including researcher mobility, PhD researcher training, workshops, an annual conference and public outreach activities.

“It is important that our project makes our insights accessible to a wide audience. Drawing on experiences from danmarkshistorien.dk, we are confident that we will be able to perform this task at Aarhus University,” says Mary Hilson, who is the main contact for ReNEW at Aarhus University.

Global interest in the Nordic region
The Nordic region has attracted global interest in the last decade owing to the way it combines economic competitiveness and innovation with social equality and well-being, topping global indexes of happiness, competitiveness and equality. This interest has created global demand for knowledge about Nordic societies and institutions, ranging from the economics of the tripartite model and small state internationalism to the cultural innovations of new Nordic cuisine, Nordic design and Nordic noir.

The idealisation of the region has, however, been tempered by the electoral success of right-wing populists and by criticisms of the Nordic countries, for example over their treatment of asylum-seekers and non-Western immigrants.

“At ReNEW we seek to examine critically Nordic responses to global challenges, based on collaboration between researchers from a broad range of disciplines. At Aarhus University the researchers taking part come from the fields of history, Scandinavian languages and literature, European studies, media studies and other areas,” says Hilson.


Bringing together six Nordic universities in one strategic hub with world-wide connections, ReNEW (Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World) aims to develop path-breaking research on the Nordic region within a challenging global context. The ReNEW programme aims to become the leading hub for research and teaching excellence, focusing on the Nordic region with regard to the following themes: Nordic co-operation, gender and equality, public policy, welfare and labour markets, democracy and governance, branding and reputation, multiculturalism, humanitarianism and environmentalism, and culture and media.

Participating institutions are the University of Helsinki (project leader), Copenhagen Business School, the University of Iceland, the University of Oslo, Södertörn University and Aarhus University.

ReNEW has been granted EUR 4.3 million by NordForsk.

Professor Mary Hilson
Department of History and Classical Studies, Aarhus University
Mail: mary.hilson@cas.au.dk
Mobil: +45 30 52 32 82

Bevillinger, Arts, Historie og Klassiske Studier