Introduction: Postimperial sovereignty games in the Nordic region

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Benevolence, homogeneity and peace has never been the full story of the Nordic region. Building on a critical review of myths of ‘Norden’ in international relations theory and beyond (international political economy, security studies, regional and European integration theory and postcolonialism), we develop the framework of postimperial sovereignty games for understanding contemporary Nordic foreign policy and regional dynamics. We shift focus from the ‘large’ Nordic countries to the remnants of Nordic empires: Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Åland. On the one hand, these polities struggle to enhance their independence – Iceland even after becoming a sovereign state; the other polities via self-government arrangements. On the other hand, the former colonies develop close relationships to a supranational European Union in their effort to achieve independent subjectivity. Contrasting the developments towards increased independence and European integration, the article demonstrates the importance of imperial legacies. Firstly, it challenges Norden as a model security community. Secondly, it questions the image of a harmonious Nordic welfare model based on equality and consensus in light of the experiences of Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Åland. Finally, it suggests that no theory of European integration is complete without taking imperial and postimperial processes into account.
TidsskriftCooperation and Conflict
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)3-32
Antal sider30
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2014

Bibliografisk note

Part of special issue on "Post-imperial Sovereignty Games in Norden"

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