The views may differ considerably, but in the centre of this debate is how the European Union (EU) states and other Western countries can afford to maintain their welfare states and representative democracies amidst the stronger competition in the global market and the geopolitical scene. The nation-states are still important units and actors but are increasingly forced to face the challenges of the ongoing globalisation of a world economy and its ever-faster driver, the digital revolution. Contextualisation has been a growing trend in research on the development in Nordic countries. The Swedish scholar Lennart Schon has, in his historical synthesis of the world economy, spotted a larger pattern behind this change of societal rhythm. The emergence and development of representative democracies in the Nordic countries has predominantly been explained as an outcome of a certain political culture and its deeply rooted institutions, which paved the way for the implementation of a specific Nordic version of the Western European welfare state.