Stiftelsen för forskning inom områden med anknytning till Östersjöregionen och Östeuropa

The Sea of Peace in the Shadow of Threats


Ämne: Samtidshistoria
Projektledare: Fredrik L Eriksson
Startår: 2009

The purpose of the project is to study the new security situation in the Baltic Sea region during the interwar period. The main focus is on small states, where the military was one of the prime tools in transmitting of ideas. Previous research has mainly dealt with the bipolar world during the Cold War, while the multipolar system during the interwar period is unexplored.

Central to the study is the build up of military potential, or the transition of the national armed forces in Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Poland, but the entire Baltic Sea region is of interest. Our focus is on the self-image of the military, and their understanding of the world in relation to confidence building. Studying of the relationship between politics and military is also of vital interest to the project. The Baltic Sea region is seen as a regional complex of security policy, where the different states are seen as nodes (Deutsch 1957; Buzan 1991; Hovi 1998). Within the complex, both alliance seeking and neutral new and old states are studied. From a small state perspective, the project focuses initially deals with how states understood and judged the intentions and abilities of one another. Important issues are, for example, the question of Poland´s borders as well as the problem of the Åland Islands. Thereafter, we study the system of judgements in relation to developing threats, i.e. Germany and the Soviet Union, both striving to revise the peace treaties of the Fist World War. Simultaneously, the military build up and adaptation to international military technology and doctrine will also be studied.

Studies of the perceptions of military power, security policy and self-image in the Baltic Sea region can point out similarities and differences in judgements between different types of actors (both national and international) and create understanding for the dynamics in the complex of the region.