«Is something rotten» in the welfare states of Scandinavia? Nordic scandals from a Shakespearean perspective

By Sigurd Allern and Ester Pollack

The Nordic countries are all stable democracies characterised by high levels of trust in public institutions. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), Scandinavia is still one of the least corrupt regions in the world. Several important societal changes in the last decades have, however, contributed to an increase in corruption problems. During the last two decades, political scandals have become a standard feature of political life, and many of these scandals involve economic affairs related to different types of corruption. This paper describes, discusses and analyses the apparent contrast between the Nordic countries’ high CPI-ranking and the increase of political and corruption-related scandals.

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