Ledestjernen som forsvant - Storbritannia i norsk utenrikspolitikk
- Side: 341-351
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.18261/ISSN1504-3053-2015-04-04
- Publisert på Idunn: 2015-11-26
- Publisert: 2015-11-26
I tiårene etter andre verdenskrig var Storbritannia Norges uttalt viktigste allierte, med en sentral plass i norsk utenrikspolitisk strategi og i det utenrikspolitiske ordskiftet. Storbritannia er utvilsomt fortsatt materielt og strategisk viktig for Norge, men er i dag lite til stede i norsk utenrikspolitisk strategi og debatt. Hva har skjedd? I denne artikkelen forklarer jeg hvorfor strategiske og materielle forklaringer bør suppleres med en analyse av hvordan Norges identitet vis-à-vis Storbritannia gradvis har endret seg.
The lodestar that faded: Britain in Norwegian foreign policy
In the first decades after the Second World War, Britain was Norway's No. 1 ally, as evident in strategy documents as well as in the wider foreign policy debate. Today, Britain still stands as a key Norwegian ally, but the UK–Norway relationship receives far less political and public attention. Why does Britain feature so little in current Norwegian foreign policy strategy and debate? In this article, I argue that Britain's reduced presence cannot be understood merely by looking at changes in strategic and material factors – we must also examine how Norway's foreign policy identity vis-à-vis Britain has evolved. Analysing foreign policy debates in the Storting since 1945, I find that the British presence faded gradually. In the early post-war years, Britain was portrayed as a 'political lodestar' for Norway. Since the mid-1970s, however, representations of Britain have been more sporadic, and more fragmented. It is the absence of an explicit, overarching relational identity in which Norwegian foreign policy towards Britain can be anchored that arguably makes relations with Britain prone to be neglected in the everyday formulation and practice of foreign policy. Key words: Britain, Norway, Foreign Policy, Identity