This chapter analyses the Nordic model as an empirical, policy-based phenomenon and as a political idea and a trope for the imagination through the lenses of social scientists and historians. The emergence and development of the Nordic model as a concept in international discussion can be roughly outlined by a quantitative bibliometric analysis using Google Books Ngrams. The notion of a distinctive Nordic social model began to attract international attention during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The prime minister of Denmark, Anker Jørgensen, answered by defining the common core of the Nordic model as democracy, welfare state, peace, solidarity with the Third World and, despite the differences between the Nordic countries, a strong cultural affiliation. In the Nordic context, scholarship on the Nordic model is a vast and lively field – impossible to subsume in a way that accurately mirrors its diversity and complexity.