Was the shaping of nation states in Northern Europe governed by military might, or by Christian and democratic ideals? How has trade and cross-cultural exchange between Scandinavia and the British Isles shaped our historic identities, and what about the impact of global politics and marketing in recent times? These are some of the questions explored by the contributors in the context of forces that shape national identities today. Their analysis highlights the need for historical awareness when developing future cultural policy, brand profiles and marketing strategies. Looking back, Jesse Byock tells how democracy was first embraced in the north by the early settlers of Iceland, Bjorn Myhre delves into the unpredictability of historical interpretation, Edward Cowan discusses the role of 'battles and beddings' in relations across the North Sea, John Purkis writes about William Morris' fascination with Nordic culture, Stephen Harrison presents the 'winning ways' of product development and marketing by Manx National Heritage, whilst Chris Powell looks at 'Cool Britannia' today and Simon Anholt at national branding strategies. This is an inspirational book that sheds new light on old subjects, equally relevant for both public and private sector policy makers alike.