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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Landscape, justice and the quality of life in emblematically embodied nation/states – the case of Denmark

Olwig, Kenneth; Fog Olwig, Karen


The modern notion of the landscape of the nation-state, we argue, emerged in part through an ‘emblematic’ fusion of the nation, imagined as a bio-organic body-politic, and the state conceptualised in geo-metric terms as the Euclidean, cartographic framework within which that body operates. The eliding of the geo-metric with the bio-organic has influenced national discourse, law and practice by defining the legal and social right to belong within this landscape in bio-spatial terms. This is exemplified by the international political cause célèbre of the ‘Schleswig-Holstein Border Question’ and its continuing ramifications for the quality of life in Denmark—particularly for those living in the landscapes of state-designated immigrant ‘ghettoes’ scheduled for physical and social eradication because their settlements are perceived as endangering the bio-spatial cohesion of the ‘nation-state’.


Emblematic embodied landscape; geo-metric; bio-organic; cartography; homogenising; nation; state; minority; Denmark

Published in

Landscape Research
2022, Volume: 47, number: 6, pages: 811-828

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG16 Peace, justice and strong institutions

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Human Geography
    Visual Arts

    Publication identifier


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