Norway's Search for a Nordpolitik

Courtesy Reuters

Nordic Europe has been a zone of stability in postwar Europe. Broad social consensus, economic growth and the development of welfare systems providing the basis for security as well as dignity for the individual, have contributed to a stable equilibrium between state and society. There is no irredentism at work, Finnish territorial concessions to the Soviet Union after the Second World War notwithstanding.

The term "Nordic Europe" denotes a cultural community and a pattern of social organization based on the concept of the welfare state. Norway, Sweden and Denmark constitute the core area, with Finland and Iceland as the peripheral zones. Nevertheless, important differences prevail among the states themselves, for in terms of foreign policy Nordic Europe displays a complex pattern of alignment and nonalignment, reflecting the fact that the Nordic states have chosen different roads to security. However, in decision-making with respect to foreign policy, considerations of regional stability

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