Stiftelsen för forskning inom områden med anknytning till Östersjöregionen och Östeuropa

Learning from new regionalism in the era of hybrid geopolitics? Regime change in the Baltic-Nordic Region

Ämne: History
Projektledare: Carl Marklund
Startår: 2019
Projekttyp: Projekt

Since 1989/1991, the Baltic-Nordic Region (BNR) has evolved into a laboratory for a nongeopolitical form of regionalism, conceived to defuse Cold War tensions. The end of the Cold War presented a unique window of opportunity for experimental regional cooperation around the Baltic Sea. Today this window appears to be closing as Baltic Sea is facing a return of geopolitics. The aim of the project is to study how the Baltic-Nordic regional regime is responding to returning geopolitical tension in the region in the recent past and in the present. In studying this regime change, the project promises to generate learning outcomes on how rising geopolitical tension may be defused, even amidst growing threats. Empirically the researchers turn to the Nordic Council (NC) and the Council for Baltic Sea States (CBSS) – two key institutions in the regional regime of the BNR. They will study how these organizations have adapted to the changing preconditions for cooperation in the region, primarily through documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews. By addressing how the region-work undertaken by the CBSS and the NC have responded to changing conditions, they hope to not only be able to contribute to the learning process of how small states (such as Sweden) can secure its own interests while contributing to secure favourable conditions for trade, sustainability, and human rights generally – even in times when these values appear to be under threat of rising isolationist protectionism and nationalist populism.