The 7th Nordic Challenges Conference: Uncertain Futures: Nordic (In-)Securities, New Geopolitics and Societal Ruptures, University of Iceland, Reykjavik 22–24 May 2024

The Call

The 7th Nordic Challenges conference themes:

Political Identities and Loyalties: What (has) happened to the Nordic model? Liberal democracy: assessing the damage; nationalism and authoritarianism; populism: Nordic trends and international comparisons; Nordic democracy contributions to democratic innovation on a global scale; Nordic democratic resources and global challenges: climate change, ecological collapse and information wars. 

The Impact of the Ukraine War: The end of Swedish and Finnish non-alignment; pan-Nordic security options and new European security constellations; the revival of geopolitics and Cold War tensions; the role of the Nordic countries in a post-war settlement; the ecological consequences of the war; re-examining Nordic relationships with Russia; post-war Russian scenarios, potentials, alternatives: socio-political and cultural responses to the war on “our doorstep” as against “other wars”; exceptionalist policies and Ukrainian refugees in the Nordic countries.

Gender Identities and Culture Wars: The Nordic approach in transnational comparison; transgender debates, consequences, reception; shifts in forward facing policies and cultural practices; the evolution and current state of Nordic policies and guidelines; engaging with and transforming existing policies on sexual harassment at the workplace; SOGIE refugees and asylum seekers.   

History, Memory and Tainted Pasts: The politics of memory and forgetting; Nordic collaboration and resistance; colonialism and decolonization: rights, legacies, and complicity; Nordic discourses on development, self-determination and historical violence; intra-Nordic colonial histories; the archaeology of narratives of colonized and the colonizers; from contestations to reconciliations: migration, policies, cultural discourses and collaborations.

Arctic Spaces and Narratives: The end of Arctic exceptionalism; competitive versus cooperative Arctic narratives; the effects of climate change; Nordic cooperation and Arctic governance; historical and contemporary narratives of Arctic geopolitics; (dis-)engaging with Russia in the Arctic; the Nordics and China’s Polar Silk Road project; the role of the Nordic countries in the U.S.-China global rivalry; economic, social, political, and cultural trajectories in Arctic communities; hegemonic power, decolonization and indigeneity in the Arctic; the colonial politics of the “Third Pole”: taking the Arctic model to the Himalayas.


Paper Proposals

For paper proposals: a standard academic abstract (200–400 words) with a title and a brief description of the main topic and the key research questions that will be discussed. The conference organisers will create panels or supplement them with suggested ones based on papers submitted.


A panel includes 4 participants (with papers) in a 90-minute session, with 15 minutes for each presentation and 30 minutes for discussion.


Roundtable is a 90-minute session, with a moderator giving a brief introduction; 70 min roundtable discussion with 5–6 participants (each starting with a 5-minute intervention), and 20 minutes for discussion with audience participation.

Book Panels

A book panel is a 60–90–minute session, including a presentation by the author/authors of the recent publication, comments by 2–4 participants, and a discussion with audience participation.

Proposals for papers, panels, roundtables, and book panels should be submitted – by 1 March 2024 – to this email address:

Save the date, looking forward to seeing you in Reykjavík!