University of Wisconsin Press colophon



University of Wisconsin Madison crest that links to main university site

Association of University Presses member logo that links to main AUPresses site



Catalog Archive / Spring 2022

Peoplehood in the Nordic World

The Nordic World
Copublished with Aarhus University Press

What do we mean when we say “the people”? The concept did not carry the contemporary meaning of a group of individuals with governing influence and political will until after the invention of democracy and the nation-state. Previously, in the Nordic context, the word people (folk) was associated not with a sovereign nation but rather with home and family. Subjects were only understood in relation to the heads of household (elders and patriarchs), state (kings and lords), and the Christian church.

The term remains a battlefield of mixed or even opposing interests and has developed at least three different meanings: a political unit (demos), a cultural entity (ethnos), and a social multitude (pléthos). As perceptions of political affinity and society change over time, “the people” will doubtless continue to adopt and adapt its meanings, with ramifications for both personal and group identity.

Modern historian Ove Korsgaard focuses on the crucial struggles over who has (or has not) belonged to the people in the past 175 years and looks at its implications for state- and nation-building in Denmark and other Nordic countries.


Ove Korsgaard. Ove Korsgaard is an emeritus professor in the department of education at Aarhus University. He is regarded as one of the most important interpreters of Denmark’s history, and his many publications include The Struggle for the People.



Download Cover: color | b/w

Download Author Photo: color | b/w

Request Review Copy

Request Exam Copy



Also in the Series

Economic Performance in the Nordic World: an olive cover displaying the title text in black font and the author text in white font.

Economic Performance in the Nordic World
Torben M. Andersen

Children's Literature in the Nordic World: sea foam cover displaying the black title text and white author text.

Children’s Literature in the Nordic World
Charlotte Appel and Nina Christensen

Peoplehood in the Nordic World: pink cover displaying the black title text and white author text.

Larger images

August 2022
120 pp. 5.5 x 8.5

Book icon
Paper $16.95 A
ISBN 9780299339043
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
Review Cart