David Arter
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The changing security environment of the Nordic region
From Cold War ‘security threats’ to the ‘security challenges’ of today
in Scandinavian politics today
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This chapter examines the nature of the post-war security system in northern Europe and the configuration known as the 'Nordic balance'. Whilst the perception of a security threat is much diminished, the talk is of 'security challenges' and 'security risks'. Krister Wahlbäck has commented that the increased importance of the Soviet Kola base represented the biggest change in the immediate security environment of the Nordic region in the twentieth century. Hannu Rautkalli has argued that the Note Crisis was 'pre-arranged' and involved collusion between Urho Kekkonen and various Soviet agents. For most Finns, the Soviet note came as a bolt from the blue and engendered a mood of real foreboding on the streets. Kjell Goldmann has identified two main elements in Sweden's security policy during the Cold War: neutrality based on a credible national defence against a superpower aggressor; and an internationalist programme for peace and security.

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