The aim of this study was provide answers to two research questions. While the first one is concerned with the causes of the remarkable macroeconomic resilience of the Nordic EU-countries since the mid-1990s, the second one is related to the sustainability of a high degree of government activity in times of financial globalisation. The authors start their inquiry with the suggestion that it is the Scandinavian welfare state that closely connects these short-term and long-term issues. It turned out that the concepts of norm-based regimes and regime constellations based on institutional complementarities are extremely helpful in the exploration of these interconnections. This result is substantiated by an extensive review of the literature on the Scandinavian welfare state and, in particular, by an econometric investigation of macroeconomic regimes and regime shifts in the Nordic EU countries.