• Christian Iversen
4. semester, Politik og Administration, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The centuries up to 1815 saw numerous wars between Scandinavian countries over territory. Similar conflicts after 1815 all ended with peaceful solutions. The purpose of this thesis was to examine why the Scandinavian relations changed so radically from being extremely violent to becoming so peaceful through a case study. This case study focuses on two Scandinavian conflicts involving territory and autonomi which, according to numerous examples in Scandinavian history before 1815 and the political realism of Morgenthau, were supposed to have led to war. In addition to this, the purpose was to draw parallels from these two cases to other similar Nordic conflicts taking place after 1815. Morgenthaus political realism, supplemented with Handel, Dosenrode and Schou’s work on weak states’ foreign policy options make out this dissertation’s theoretical framework. According to Morgenthau states always strive for more power, as it is always in a state’s interest to increase its power relative to other states. This, because the state needs to secure its own survival as no other higher authority will do it for them. This is especially problematic for weak states as the Scandinavian states. Due to the significance in power the powerful states can force weak states do what is in the interest of the powerful ones, and if this is unsuccessful the stronger states can use military force to achieve their aims. The weak states, in turn, depend on external help to secure own survival. To make up for the lack of power, these states must different means. By supporting international organisations, international law and norms weak state hope to eliminate power politics. The dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden and the Aalland crisis have in common that they both were permeated by intervention from the socalled great powers – the most powerful countries on the international political arena at the time, and that the more powerful state – Sweden – in both cases was the “looser”. The great powers greatly influenced the outcomes of the both conflicts. In addition, war was a possibility in both conflicts, but it also seems to be quite clear that war would not have made a difference for the outcome: the great powers would have dictated the peace conditions which most likely would have been the same or similar to the outcome of the actual outcomes. Recognising that they could not reach a common agreement on the sovereignty question of the Åland Islands, Finland and Sweden chose the “second worst solution”: to let the Council of the League of Nations decide its vital interests in this conflict. The worst solution would have been to decide the issue through war as this most likely would have led to great power intervention. International organisations, norms and international law were the only available means to the countries in the conflicts. Similarly, Denmark and Norway let the International Court of Justice decide their dispute over East Greenland – a territory both Denmark and Norway claimed to have the sovereignty over. This, despite Norway had occupied different parts of East Greenland and thereby, according to the Danish view, violated Danish autonomi and sovereignty over this territory. This is in accordance with the logic above: war was no longer an option, and by adhering to international law etc., the Nordic countries could hope to minimise great power interference – the best way to secure their own survival, in accordance with Morgenthau, Dosenrode, Schou and others.
Antal sider121
Udgivende institutionInstitut for Økonomi, Politik og Forvaltning, Aalborg Universitet
ID: 13995164