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Norsk-sovjetisk fagleg diplomati og den europeiske détente

f. 1952, cand.philol. 1982, professor ved UiT – Norges arktiske universitet.

hallvard.tjelmeland@uit.no

  • Side: 597-623
  • Publisert på Idunn: 2014-12-04
  • Publisert: 2014-12-04

Artikkelen vil visa korleis den utdjupa kontakten mellom den norske og sovjetiske landsorganisasjonen som vart etablert ved inngangen til 1970-talet, var eit uttrykk for og aktivt element i utviklinga av det som har vore kalla «den europeiske avspenninga». Denne strategien, basert på at menneskeleg kontakt og dialog kunne bryta ned fiendebilete og gi eit breiare feste for avspenningspolitikk enn det reine supermaktsdiplomatiet, vart fasthalde også då det internasjonale klimaet vart kraftig forverra frå slutten av 1970-talet. Artikkelen er eit innspel i diskusjonen om brytninga mellom dialog- og konfrontasjonsstrategiar i norsk og europeisk politikk i åra fram mot Gorbatsjovs maktovertaking.

Norwegian-Soviet trade union diplomacy and the European détente

This article discusses the relationships between Norwegian and Soviet confederations of trade unions from 1970 until Gorbachev came to power in 1985. Empirically, it is based mainly on the archives of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO). The relationships between the two confederations have to be viewed in connection with a distinct European détente policies followed by the German east policy under Brandt and the process leading to the Helsinki Declaration in 1975. Fairly extensive bilateral contact between the Norwegian and Soviet trade union movement was generated based on the idea that détente should have a broader basis than traditional diplomacy allowed for. Personal encounters across the Iron Curtain were considered as important in building trust and demounting enemy images. The peace and détente perspective underlying this activity was anchored in the new Western European and Nordic confederations of trade unions, where the Norwegian LO played an active role. During the "second Cold War" from the late 1970s the LO kept firmly to strategies of détente and critical dialogue towards its Soviet counterpart. This was a period of polarisation in the Norwegian and European security policy debate. The LO became part of the European movement against nuclear rearmament at a time of ice front between the superpowers. This strategy is discussed in relation to the Danish Cold War debate. It is argued that the LO strategy was not solely based on an equilibrium policy, where solidarity with those who wanted democracy in the east was sacrificed at the altar of European détente. The article argues, finally, that transnational movements which helped to make the Iron Curtain more porous should be included in a multi-faceted analysis of the process that transformed the Cold War and in the end laid to rest the entire Cold War system.

Keywords: Cold war, European détente, trade union diplomacy, transnational movements
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