29/2020 Markus Lampe and Paul Sharp
The social cohesion of Denmark, embodied in its strong tradition of rural cooperation, has often been promoted as a model for successful development. Francis Fukuyama (2011) described the issue facing developing countries as the problem of ‘getting to Denmark’, a metaphor for a society characterised by good governance, the rule of law, and related virtues leading to wealth and prosperity. But can and should developing countries aspire to ‘get to Denmark’? This briefing analyses the economic development of Denmark through history and concludes that the lessons from Denmark have been misunderstood.