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As a small state in northern Europe, Norway has historically been on the sidelines of regional and world power politics. Norway has not, at least not in modern times, been a colonial power or the initiator of a military dispute. Yet, international conflicts and wars have provided Norway with much of its foreign political purpose. After the Cold War in particular, successive Norwegian governments have sought to position Norway as a humanitarian protagonist. According to a dominant narrative, shared by politicians and laypeople alike, Norway has a longstanding tradition—stretching back to its nonviolent secession from Sweden in 1905—of working for international cooperation, peace, and justice. Contemporary social scientists and historians have asked a number of questions about this value-oriented foreign policy. Are there grounds for ...

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