Title: Norway’s foreign relations. A history
Author: Olav Riste
Publisher: Oslo: Universitetsforlaget
Published: 2005 (1st edition 2001)
Number of pages: 308
The book has a dual foundation: it is both an offshoot of a major project, which the author led, that produced a six-volume history of Norwegian foreign policy, and the result of the author's own research as a longstanding student of Norway's foreign relations.
Beginning with the rise and fall of a medieval Norwegian North Atlantic "empire", the book reviews Norway's foreign relations during the eclipse of the Norwegian state in the union with Denmark, followed by its resurgence through the Swedish-Norwegian Union 1814–1905.
The main part of the book then surveys and analyses the foreign policy of Norway as a sovereign and independent state in the 20th century, at first wary of involvement in European power politics, but active in the promotion of its economic interests. The German invasion of Norway in 1940 shattered the illusion of safe remoteness from the conflict lines of international politics.
The experience of Norway in exile as a member of the Grand Alliance then laid the foundation for a post-war role as an active participant in international affairs, with membership of NATO. Uncertainty about the country's ability to hold its own in European affairs has held Norway back from active participation in the processes of European integration. Instead she has more recently sought to play a strong part in the promotion of international peace and aid to developing countries, demonstrating a newfound self-confidence nourished by her wealth as a major exporter of North Sea oil and natural gas.