‘Reluctant Nordics’, ‘reluctant Europeans’,
but ‘moral superpowers’?
Scandinavia has emerged as a moral superpower by continuously and consistently advocating compliance with global standards of conduct and by working
to develop, refine and maintain principles of mutual understanding in world
(Ingebritsen 2006: 2)
Writing in the 1980s, Bengt Sundelius noted that ‘history seems to indicate
that the Nordic countries have failed dramatically when they have tried
to undertake some major conspicuous co-operation projects’ (Sundelius
1982: 181). The
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian
conflicts, which were kept in check by the
superpowers, making the combatants accessible, at least in theory, to humanitarian
efforts. ‘Civilians are not simply the victims of conflicts, they are the
very target of conflicts; this is a significant change, at least with regard
to the twentieth century ’, the director of operations for the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in 1999 ( Tauxe, 1999 ; emphasis added). With the launch of the
‘War on Terror
Britain's overseas empire had a profound impact on people in the United Kingdom, their domestic spaces and rituals, and their perceptions of, and attitudes towards, the wider world. This book considers how a whole range of cultural products - from paintings to architecture - were used to record, celebrate and question the development of the British Empire. The churches and missionary societies were important in transmitting visual propaganda for their work, through their magazines, through lectures and magic lantern slides, through exhibitions and publications such as postcards. The book offers an overview of the main context in which four continents iconography was deployed after 1800: the country houses of the British elite. Publication, and subsequent distribution and consumption, offered a forum for exploration endeavours to enter public consciousness. James Cook's expeditions were particularly important in bringing exploration to a wider public audience, and the published accounts derived from them offer strong evidence of the interest in exploration at all levels of society. The exhibition of empire, typically associated with ambition, pride and expertise, also included an unruly genre: the satirical peace print. The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars resulted in the eclipse of the French, Spanish and Holy Roman Empires, and Britain's emergence as a 'global, naval, commercial, and imperial superpower'. Numerous scholars in recent years have noted the centrality of the Indian exhibits in the Crystal Palace and emphasised the exhibition's role in promoting commodities from Britain's colonies.
With the rise of new powers and the decline of seemingly unchallenged US dominance, a conventional wisdom is gaining ground in contemporary discourse about world politics that a new multipolar order is taking shape. Yet ‘multipolarity’ – an order with multiple centres of power – is variously used as a description of the current distribution of power, of the likely shape of a future global order, or even as a prescription for how power ‘should’ be distributed in the international system. This book explores how the concept of a multipolar order is being used for different purposes in different national contexts. From rising powers to established powers, contemporary policy debates are analysed by a set of leading scholars in order to provide an in-depth insight into the use and abuse of a widely used but rarely explored concept.
The Cuban Missile Crisis introduced a new phase to the Cold War. Shaken by the sudden risk of nuclear war, the two superpowers developed new diplomatic institutions – conferences, summit meetings and new treaties and obligations – designed to harness the competition for international power and influence. The Cold War was marked by growing aspects of co-operation as well as of conflict.
The transition to a new phase in the Cold War was accentuated by a shift in superpower leadership. In the USA the aged and formal President Dwight D. Eisenhower
. Definitions of Turkey as the rising “Middle Eastern power,” “the Central Asian pivot,” the “multi-regional power,” or even as the emerging “regional super-power” as Time magazine had used (see the Help Wanted “Ad,” at the beginning of Chapter 1 ), are to be found in many publications. 1 We, too, we have used this terminology when we came to describe the country’s status, performances and prospects. However, a clear warning should be attached to these definitions. Turkey will not be the said power if it means clashes and confrontations and wars, be it with Russia
Edward Heath, ‘Europe came first’.74 Heath
had demonstrated this desire during a series of lectures at Harvard University
in 1967 where he noted that Britain should reconfigure its foreign policy
priorities away from the ‘Atlantic Community’ and the Commonwealth.
Instead, Britain would shape a new Europe, which would act as a genuine
third power centre in a world dominated by the superpowers. Thus, as one
early biographer of Heath noted, the EEC was a vehicle in which Britain could
ensure a world role ‘commensurate with the role that she enjoyed in the
became more negative. He felt that
Nasser, with his attempts to incite the two superpowers against each
other, was leading Egypt into a trap and toward catastrophe, and had not
learned that any country that cooperated with the Soviets would regret
it. 71 Soviet
propaganda was increasingly anti-Israel, Dulles acknowledged, but the
Soviet Union would not deliberately provoke an Arab attack on Israel
the subsequent forty years or so.
The chapter has a narrow focus; it sketches the nature of the superpower rivalry from the late 1940s and through the 1950s and seeks to show how it affected interstate relations and shaped international institutions. It presents the rivalry as a composite of ideological, military and geopolitical concerns. It discusses the interconnections of these concerns, during the first few Cold War years when no regular diplomacy existed between the USA and the USSR.
The USSR was a closed country in those years. The USA had
From Cold War ‘security threats’ to the ‘security challenges’ of today
The changing security environment of the
Nordic region: from Cold War ‘security
threats’ to the ‘security challenges’ of today
Given our geographical location, the three main security challenges for Finland
today are Russia, Russia and Russia – and not only for Finland….
‘All four [mainland Nordic] states, culturally Western and ideologically
democratic, found themselves because of their geographical location on the
strategic and cultural frontier between the superpowers and their nascent
blocs as these were formed in the immediate post