The special characteristics of working life in the Nordic region are rooted in developments throughout a long history. This chapter presents this history in brief, beginning with the severe conflicts that characterized the Nordic labour markets from 1890 to 1935. These conflicts led to the establishment of many of the institutions that still regulate the Nordic labour markets. Following this, the ‘social-democratic era’ is presented. Here, the goal was to develop a fair and democratic working life, inspired by both by Taylorist standardization and socio-technical autonomy. From the mid-1980s, employment relations in the Nordic countries were influenced by neo-liberal thinking, as in the rest of the developed world. However, in the Nordic region a special variant of neo-liberalism developed. The Nordic approach to forming employment relationships has been continuous for almost 100 years, but the content of employment relations has changed significantly over the years, strongly influenced by global trends.