For decades Denmark has been a symbol of the Scandinavian model and has prided itself on its high standard of living, its excellent social welfare system and its open-mindedness towards minorities (particularly foreign communities). In 2019, the UN declared Denmark the happiest country in the world.
However, in the last couple of decades cracks have begun to appear in the Utopian model. The wave of immigrants arriving from the Middle East has stirred tensions. Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, has recently experienced the most violent urban riots in its history.
Once a nation that embraced multiculturalism, the Danish government, under pressure from far right discourse, has recently passed laws persecuting those who do not conform to their social ideal. The state tracks down illegal migrants, men, women and children, and confines them to detention centers pending deportation. The country’s latest project in dealing with arrivals has been to place them on an island.
Between a model of tolerance and an identity crisis, is Denmark becoming a nation of two minds?