Norway and the High North: Foreign Policy Strategies since the Cold War

Current Politics and Economics of Europe, Vol 28, No 1, 2017, pp. 31-54.

The relationship with Russia ranks above most other concerns in Norway’s High North policy. Nevertheless, in recent years, the division between foreign and domestic policies has gradually dissolved and the circumpolar dimension has grown in importance. The international ‘Artic wave’ that followed the Russian flag planting on the North Pole in 2007 served to split Norwegian High North strategies into two even more clearly delineated geographical directions: on the domestic scene: away from the border town of Kirkenes to the new ‘Arctic capital’ of Tromsø; on the international scene: away from Russia into the circumpolar world of the Arctic Council. The latter tendency was strengthened in the wake of the sanctioning regime that followed Russia’s annexation of the Crimeas in 2014. Hence, different dimensions of the Norwegian High North strategies can be cultivated depending on the international political dimensions.