Time for a Nordic Business History Initiative?

Espen Ekberg, Martin Jes Iversen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The current state of Nordic business history is by certain estimates better than ever. Nordic business historians publish extensively in leading international journals and have a strong presence at international business history conferences. Still, in this discussion article we raise a yellow flag of warning for the future of Nordic business history. We argue that the subject field is challenged along three important dimensions: (i) lack of relevant teaching, (ii) continued reliance on commissioned history and (iii) limited recruitment. The article discusses these challenges and seeks to place them in a historical perspective. For each challenge, we develop a set of concrete proposals to address the problems identified. A common theme in our proposed solutions is to intensify Nordic collaboration, particularly through the establishment of common, externally funded Nordic research projects. To create meeting grounds for the development of such projects, The Scandinavian Society for Economic and Social History – the formal collaborative body for Nordic economic historians and the owner of Scandinavian Economic History Review – should be reinvigorated.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Economic History Review
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Business history
  • Teaching
  • Commissioned history
  • Doctoral courses
  • Nordic co-operation

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