Morality was a dominant theme in the
1990s, but concerns about morality seem omnipresent in the first
years of the third millennium. The year 2002 witnessed the greatest
corporate scandals ever seen in the United States, with immense
impact financially and in human terms. Sex scandals were pervasive
among Catholic priests in the United States, disrupting the lives
of thousands of abused children. In Scandinavia, moral debates and
scandals are of a smaller magnitude, and more often related to
questions about the handling of money by politicians.
This volume takes an overarching look at the impact of such moral
questions in the Nordic countries. Its approach is
multi-disciplinarian, embracing philosophy, history, sociology, and
political science. Based mainly upon a survey of representative
samples in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, this unique study
combines interview questions on crime and justice with moral
questions concerning equality, confidence, tolerance, and also
personal, social, religious, political, and national values.
Bondeson first discusses the Nordic countries from a historical
perspective and in statistical terms. She then presents interview
data on the general sense of justice in Nordic countries, in
particular exploring how much social and legal equality the
Scandinavians have achieved in their welfare states. She touches
upon criminal behavior and victimization, and discusses crime
prevention and punishment. Bondeson also reviews the problems and
methods of the study. Finally, she adds depth to the statistical
analysis by using a number of indexes of morality. A trend analysis
illustrates the stability of these attitudes over time.
Nordic Moral Climates is an original empirical study of
moral values in Scandinavia. It is one of the few comprehensive
studies on this subject conducted in any nation or group of
nations. The book will be of great interest to criminologists,
sociologists, and social theorists.
Ulla V. Bondeson has been professor of criminology at the
University of Copenhagen since 1980 and was previously professor of
sociology of law at Lund University. She has also been a guest
professor at several American universities, including Harvard and
Yale. She is the author of Prisoners in Prison Societies,
available from Transaction.