The book is primarily a description of a set of political events and structures in Scandinavia coherently presented around the question of political consensus. This book fills a significant gap in instructional materials on Western Europe and orients scholars to a rich body of data and studies on the Nordic democracies. How much do the Scandinavian states have in common politically? That is the central question in this review of current political developments in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. In particular, is it possible to characterize these countries as being a distinct group of consensual democracies within the mainstream of western Europe? A definition of consensual democracy is proposed as a theme against which patterns of domestic and international policy-making in the region are examined, in order to locate distinguishing elements within its political landscape. These are viewed against the perspectives of the historical structuring of the mass politics; the pattern of social cleavages and partisan conflict since the World War II; and the major political institutions of the nation states. The study concludes, that after a turbulent period in the 1970s, new patterns of consensus and conflict are emerging in the 1980s. The book is aimed at specialists and students of European politics.