Public Relations in Norway

Communication in a Small Welfare State

Authored by: ØYvind Ihlen , Kjell S. Rakkenes

The Global Public Relations Handbook

Print publication date:  January  2009
Online publication date:  January  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415995139
eBook ISBN: 9780203889374
Adobe ISBN: 9781135845551


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Norway is a small kingdom in Northern Europe that has topped the United Nations’ list for human development for several years. Unemployment, inequality, and population growth are low among the country’s 4.6 million inhabitants. Norwegians enjoy long life expectancy, a high education level, high health expenditure, as well as high income and a high GDP per capita (United Nations Development Programme, 2006). As in the rest of the Scandinavian region to which it belongs, the electoral supremacy of social democracy has been pronounced (Arter, 1999). The Norwegian state has been described as both corporatist and based on an ideology of welfare capitalism, where free market activity is balanced against government intervention. The nation’s economy is largely dependent on petroleum; a fourth of Norwegian wealth creation is tied to this industry. Norway is the world’s eight largest producer of oil, and only Saudi Arabia and Russia export more oil (Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, 2006). In 2007, the economy is booming and the nation’s public relations industry is thriving, as reputation seems to have increased in importance for Norwegian businesses and organizations in general.

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