Historians of knowledge take part in the new research program “Neoliberalism in the Nordics”

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, one of the major funding bodies in Sweden, has decided to award the program “Neoliberalism in the Nordics: developing an absent theme” 33,1 million SEK. The program is led by Jenny Andersson and will run from 2020 to 2025. It gathers a dozen researchers, among them David Larsson Heidenblad from the history of knowledge group in Lund. In addition Niklas Olsen, co-editor of the forthcoming volume Histories of Knowledge in Postwar Scandinavia: Actors, Arenas, Ambitions (Routledge 2020) and Orsi Husz, contributor to the aforementioned volume, will partake in the program.

The program intends to develop an understanding of neoliberalism in the Nordic welfare states, and specifically, of the role of the welfare state and a set of political alliances surrounding and including social democracy, not merely as the targets of neoliberal critique but as the vehicles of a specific Nordic variant of neoliberalism. There are good reasons to hypothesize that key intellectual, political and economic developments in the Nordics since the 1970s share characteristics of neoliberalisation elsewhere – while at the same time displaying distinct features. The program aims to develop a new research theme around the expressions of neoliberalism in the Norther European periphery, by building a strong team of intellectual, conceptual, political, economic, social and cultural historians working across Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.

Historians of knowledge will contribute by stressing the importance of financial knowledge and financial education for understanding this historical process. In particular, they will look into the popularisation and de-stigmatization of stock saving and consumer credits. Larsson Heidenblad’s project will focus on the organization Aktiespararnas riksförbund and their educational activities to promote stock saving. In the forthcoming volume Forms of Knowledge: Developing the History of Knowledge (Nordic Academic Press, 2020), he discuss the rationale for historians of knowledge to engage with financial knowledge in the chapter “Financial Knowledge: A Rich New Venture for Historians of Knowledge”.

More information about the program: https://www.rj.se/en/anslag/2019/neoliberalism-in-the-nordics-developing-an-absent-theme/ More information about David Larsson Heidenblad’s project: https://newhistoryofknowledge.com/2019/05/15/new-project-on-the-circulation-of-financial-knowledge-receives-funding/

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