The articles in this book are all written by historians who have worked within the framework of a Nordic research project operating under the title The Nordic Welfare-Modelâ€”An Historical Reappraisal. The authors trace both the common features and the differences between the Nordic welfare states. They do so by investigating the specific historical contexts in which the welfare systems were created. The analyses cover the core areas of the welfare state: old age pensions, health, the hospital sector, family policies, unemployment insurance, the position of women, and the role of the Social Democratic parties. Topics studied include: how the Nordic welfare states were constructed through co-operation, comparison and competition between politicians and civil servants; and the role of the Nordic model concept in the international community.