Nordic Peace Revisited (Public Event)

Is there a Nordic peace model? How do the Nordic countries use peace as an identifier to create an international brand or a national identity? 

 A United Nations peacekeeper from Norway holds his helmet as a Hercules C-130 transport plane lands at Sarajevo airport in the summer of 1992

UN peacekeeper from Norway in Sarajevo, 1992. Photo: Mikhail Evstafiev, Wikimedia Commons

The Nordic countries are often held up as exemplars in debates about international politics. Be it in terms of their proclaimed environmentalism, their promotion of gender equality, or their support for humanitarian causes and multilateral peace support through the United Nations, the Nordic countries are often depicted as world leaders. Nordic peace, however, also raises many questions. Theoretically and historically important questions can be asked as to how the emergence and development of Nordic peace can be best explained and accounted for.

There are also important questions to consider as to how Nordic peace has become internalized in the self-identity narratives of the different nations, and the extent to which, in more recent years, Nordic peace has become reconceptualised as a brand. It is also important, therefore, to consider how Nordic peace has been integrated into the foreign policy approaches of the different nations, and also to interrogate the extent to which (self-)understandings of Nordic peace may have changed over time. This latter is particularly pertinent in a context of renewed militarism within the region, where Nordic peace is being refashioned towards a new regional and global context.

The aim of this event is to invite reflections from a set of uniquely knowledgeable observers who have different experiences and observations to discuss the trajectories, manifestations and challenges of the concept of Nordic Peace.


10:00– 10:05: Welcoming remarks by PRIO director Henrik Urdal

10:05 – 10:30

Key note - Peter Wallensteen, Professor, Uppsala University

10:30 – 12:00 Panel discussion 

* Ingibjörg Gissladottir, Director, ODIHR (OSCE)

* Kai Eide, Former diplomat, Norway

* Pernille Kardel, Diplomat, Denmark

* Pertti Joenniemi, Senior researcher, University of Copenhagen

* Peter Wallensteen, Professor, Uppsala University

Moderators: Torunn Tryggestad (PRIO) and Malcolm Langford (UiO)

About the panel

Ingebjörg Gissladottir is Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Gissladottir was Minster of Foreign Affairs on Iceland from 2007-2009, and has previously served as country representative to UN Women in Afghanistan.

Kai Eide is a former Norwegian diplomat. While working as a diplomat Eide served as UN Special Representative to Afghanistan and Special Envoy to the UN Secretary General in Kosovo and has served as ambassador for Norway to OSCE and NATO.

Pernille Kardel is a Danish diplomat with more than 25 years of experience from diplomacy and international cooperation. Most recently she served as UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon. Before that she was the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Pertti Joenniemi is a researcher at the Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland. Joenniemi previously worked as a senior research fellow at the Danish Institute for International Studies at the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Peace Research Institute (COPRI).

Peter Wallensteen is Senior Professor of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University and Senior Research Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame. Until 2015 he directed the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) and led the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University 1972-1999.


The event is free and open to all, but registration is required. To register, please follow this link (to PRIO).

Published Feb. 20, 2019 3:31 PM - Last modified Mar. 11, 2019 1:32 PM