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Why is Norway Outside the European Union?

Norwegian National Identity and the Question of European Integration

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Gamze Tanil

This book introduces identity politics into the analysis of international relations. Through the usage of identification approaches, combined with an extensive presentation of the specific features of Norwegian nation-building, it offers a lucid account of how Norway’s history and culture shape the prism through which many Norwegians view the merits of their country’s relations with the emerging European Union.

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Foreword

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For a comparatively small states situated on the northern periphery of Europe, Norway has attracted a notable number of scholars interested in understanding its complex, yet close relationship with the evolving European Community/Union (EC/EU). Not least there have been notable studies that have sought to utilize identity-based and other explanations for why this Nordic state has applied and then rejected full EC/EU membership terms. Yet, many of these have not sought to unpack how Norwegian identity – or as Tanil refers to it – ‘identification’ – in- fluence the Norwegian people’s attitudes towards European integration for those outside the Nordic region – something that remains essential if cross-national comparative lessons are to be drawn now and in the future. This new work by Gamze Tanil provides a useful introduction for those (especially non-Nordic) in- terested parties that may not have an immediate understanding of the nuances of the characteristics of Norwegian identity. Through her usage of identification approaches, combined with an extensive presentation of the specific features of Norwegian nation-building, Dr Tanil of- fers a well-written and lucid account of how Norway’s history and culture shape the prism through which many Norwegians view the merits of their country’s relations with the emerging European Union. Professor Lee Miles Department of Political Science Karlstad University, Sweden

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