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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

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

Authors' information

Fog Olwig, Karen
University of Copenhagen

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

UKÄ Subject classification

Human Geography
Visual Arts

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)