Pia Maria Ahlbäck and Toni Lahtinen The Nordic countries have often been regarded as ideal states with respect to their organization of society, including, among other things, their democracy, public education systems, gender equality, and strong concern for nature. From the late twentieth century onward, an increasing interest in Nordic literature, film, and design—genres where social and environmental themes have been strongly highlighted—can be noted internationally. This discourse of the Nordic societies can be considered to contain both utopian and dystopian aspects. As Kjerstin Aukrust and Cecilie Weiss- Andersen show in their article on French democracy, the Nordic, understood as a utopian motif, has been a long-standing topic in modern French politi - cal discourse, being expressed as an ideal of transparency and political puri - tanism. However, in this particular French cultural context these ideals have also taken on a dystopian note. Paying attention to the balance of utopian and dystopian qualities, Aukrust and Weiss-Andersen’s article thus touches upon a previous stock of research. Like so many scholars and thinkers since Thomas More have shown, utopias, be they understood as literary genres, political topoi, or ideologies, also contain a dystopian potential or tendency— and the other way around.
Utopian Studies – Penn State University Press
Published: Sep 26, 2019
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