New Nordic Peace

Nordic Peace and Conflict Resolution Efforts

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For a long time, the Nordic countries have been a region of peace, with the ability to resolve conflicts peacefully among themselves, and a region for peace, actively promoting peace globally. Although efforts to actively brand the Nordic region are ongoing, the Nordic Peace brand is an area with untapped potential. The Nordics have rich traditions for working together on peace and conflict resolution. These joint efforts have grown organically and informally from like-mindedness, letting the common Nordic culture and ways of working foster integration among them where relevant. The people working in the Nordic countries on Nordic cooperation and peace recognize the potential of strengthening the Nordic Peace brand. One area of special potential is increasing focus on the shared Nordic priorities of prevention and the women, peace and security agenda as part of the Nordic Peace brand.




This report provides an overview of how Nordic countries currently work together on peace and conflict resolution. The report examines the Nordic tradition of supporting peace and conflict resolution efforts and whether an actual Nordic Peace brand exists. We find that a Nordic Peace brand, culture or tradition generally consists of two elements: core values and ways of working. As concerns core values, we investigate how and whether mediation, dialogue, human rights, civil society and women, peace and security, can be elements of a Nordic Peace brand. As regards the ways of working together, the report demonstrates how joint Nordic work on peace and conflict is generally driven by pragmatic like-mindedness and practical solutions. The report categorizes three different types and degrees of working together: coordination, as the least integrated approach, primarily involving information sharing and trust building; cooperation, as a more ritualized yet still politically non-committal form of working together; and collaboration, as a more regular, integrated and in some cases more binding approach, where joint analysis leads to joint solutions. We find that whereas there is often limited appetite for formalizing cooperation, there is a growing appetite among the Nordics to work together, both due to the practical benefits hereof but also due to geopolitical shifts in the Nordic neighbourhood, the increasing pushback against multilateralism and international norms globally. We also find that whereas certain policy areas may pose greater challenges for joint efforts, the benefits of working together count the potential to increase impact and gain information and that working together is made easier by shared working cultures, values and high levels of trust among the Nordics. Finally, we propose a set of recommendations regarding Nordic joint projects and potential mechanisms of working together. We suggest two areas that are particularly prone to increased collaboration: women, peace and security, on the one hand, and preventive diplomacy on the other. We further identify a new trend, “non-exclusive Nordic cooperation”, where the Nordics work together along with regional and global actors, arguing that this serves as inspiration for future Nordic peace and conflict resolution efforts.

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