Five Roads to Nordic Security

DOI10.1177/001083677200700110
AuthorJohan Jørgen Holst
Publication Date01 March 1972
SubjectArticles
Five
Roads
to
Nordic
Security
JOHAN
JØRGEN
HOLST
One
normally
discusses
the
problems
of
European
security
from
the
point
of
view
of
the
centre.
The
dominant
political
and
territorial
disputes
in
the
post
World
War
II
era
have,
of
course,
been
concentrated
in
the
centre
and
to
a
lesser
degree
in
the
soft
underbelly
of
Europe.
In
Northern
Europe
the
territorial
status
qzio
has
not
been
under
challenge
since
World
War
II.
The
pattern
of
alignment
and
non-
alignment
has
provided
a
rather
stable
configuration
of
regional
interdependence.
Interpenetration
and
mutual
involvement,
coupled
with
a
high
degree
of
cultural
and
social
homogeneity
have
lent
coherence
and
cohesion
to
the
pattern
of
intersocietal
politics
in
Northern
Europe,
particularly
in
the
core
area
of
Denmark,
Norway,
and
Sweden.
Scandinavianism
has,
however,
never
constituted
a
sufficient
reason
and
foundation
for
the
security
policy
of
the
Nordic
states.
They
have
chosen
different
roads
to
security.
The
successes
of
Nordic
cooperation
exhibited
by
the
extensive
activities
of
the
Nordic
Council,
have
been
possible
to
a
large
extent
because
security
policy
has
been
kept
outside
the
realm
of
policy
harmonization.
The
’Nordic
alterna-
tive’
continues
to
have
a
substantial
pop-
ular
appeal
in
all
the
Nordic
countries,
particularly
in
the three
core
area
coun-
tries.
However,
sentiments
and
nostalgia ,
B
have
invariably
collided
with
the
hard
facts
of
power
constellations
and
extra-
regional
bonds.
A
similar
pattern
may
be
observed
in
the
realm
of
market
policies.
The
Nordic
Defence
Pact
negotiations
of
1948-49
proved
abortive
as
did
the
NORDEK
scheme
for
a
common
Nordic
market
solution
in
1968-70.
Instead
of
a
joint
security
solution,
a
pattern
of
alignments
and
constraints
has
crystallized
in
the
Nordic
area.
A
theory
has
been
propounded
according
to
which
perceptions
with
regard
to
the
interde-
pendence
of
Nordic
policies
in
regard
to
security
serve
to
stabilize
intra-Nordic
relations
as
well
as
the
penetration
of the
Nordic
area
by
extra-regional
powers,
particularly
the
two
superpowers
and
the
German
Federal
Republic.
The
theory
of
the
’Nordic
Balance’
exercises
a
norma-
tive
impact
on
security
policy-making,
particularly
in
the
three
core
area
coun-
tries.
It
is
most
often
deployed
in
support
of
the
status
quo,
and
against
measures
which
may
be
perceived
as
introducing
new
elements
into
the
situation.
The
term
’theory’
is
an
overstatement,
and
the
term
’balance’
has
frequently
been
burdened
with
unrealistic
assumptions
about
mech-
anistic
automaticity
of
systemic
responses
to
change
in
any
of
the
components
of the
system.
The
rather
straightforward
pro-
position
that
decisions
made
in
any one
of
the
Nordic
countries
in
regard
to
security,
may
have
implications
for
the
others
causing
them
to
consider
whether
adjust-
ments
are
needed,
and,
thus,
produce
a
change
in
the
security
environment
which
’should
have
been
considered
when
the
decision
was
made
in
the
first
instance,
does
not
provide
a
good
deal
of
specific
guidance.
The
Nordic
governments
main-
tain ~ a
broad
spectrum
of
permanent
lines
of
communication
which
permit
them
to
gauge
and
assess
the
regional
impacts
of
alternative
decisions.
Possible
regional
adjustments
have
been
indicated
primarily
for
purposes
of
constraining
the
penetra-

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