Den utenrikspolitiske håndteringen av Elektronsaken: Kompetent realpolitikk eller kompetansestrid? ('Norwegian Foreign Policy Handling of the Elektron Incident')

FNI Report 3/2007. Lysaker, FNI, 2007, 94 p. In Norwegian.

This report is an analysis of the 'Elektron-incident' in October 2005, where the Norwegian Coast Guard attempted to arrest a Russian trawler. This incident between the Coast Guard and a Russian trawler was a case of high politics between the two respective countries. This report presents and discusses various explanations for i) why the trawler was stopped and taken in arrest in the first place, and ii) why, when it choose to defy orders from the Norwegian coast guard and sat course for Russia, it was not stopped by stronger means. The report draws on several theories, derived from both state-internal and stateexternal perspectives. The report finds that there are several overlapping reasons for the two decisions mentioned, explained by realism, regime theory, organizational theory and bureaucratic perspective. The trawler was inspected and arrested due to Norwegian control of fish resources, claim to sovereignty, test of the control-regime in the area, the Coast guard’s analytical development, and, to the interest of some groups in the bureaucracy. 
The question of why harder means were not used when Elektron refused to obey orders, also has several answers. Stronger means were not used due to fear of a militarily strong Russia, the increasing opportunity to test the Russian view on the Fisheries Protection Zone around Svalbard, non-transparent decision making competence, the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and safety routines in the Norwegian Coast Guard.



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