David Arter
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‘Reluctant Nordics’, ‘reluctant Europeans’, but ‘moral superpowers’?
in Scandinavian politics today
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This chapter explores the basis for Christine Ingebritsen's claim that Scandinavia has emerged as a moral superpower and considers the ways in which the Nordic states have sought to influence the agenda of international politics. Nordic regional co-operation long antedated the Cold War. When the impressive record of joint responses to 'neighbourhood issues' is borne in mind, the label 'reluctant Nordics' seems a singularly inappropriate term with which to characterise Cold War regional co-operation. If Iceland appears to be the 'reluctant European' among the Nordic states, opinion polls suggest that the level of grassroots Euroscepticism has differed relatively little from that in metropolitan Scandinavia. The Norden Associations multi-faceted cultural bodies which included both organisations and individuals among their membership, were founded in Denmark, Norway and Sweden in 1919 and extended to Iceland in 1922 and Finland in 1924.

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