Geopolitics of the North: Geopolitik of the Weak A Post-Cold War Return to Rudolf Kjellén

Journal article

Tunander, Ola (2008) Geopolitics of the North: Geopolitik of the Weak A Post-Cold War Return to Rudolf Kjellén, Cooperation and Conflict 43 (2): 164–184.

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After the Cold War, the Nordic states turned to the south, to the European Union. They established borderland regions to handle practicalities and relax the tension between east and west. Now, the Nordic states were free from Cold War bloc politics. The Nordic foreign policy elite amalgamated with Nordic constructivist scholars to reshape the political landscape of the North by re-inventing the pre-nation-state regional ties. However, the Nordic states also came to adapt to a new geometry of power, the Kjellénean power triangle. This return to Kjellénean geopolitics was not based on the power politics of the ‘US victory school’, but, paradoxically enough, on European and Scandinavian relative weakness:a Geopolitik of the weak.Even more paradoxical, this return to geopolitics took place in Norway, Finland and to some extent in Denmark, not in Kjellén’s home country of Sweden, i.e. as if the Swedish geopolitical taboo still made this impossible.

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