​NATO has been key to Norwegian security policy since 1949. 

IFS’ research on NATO covers a wide spectrum, including studies of NATO’s historical and current evolution; Norway’s and other European countries’ NATO policy; NATO’s relations with the EU; NATO’s role in defence and security sector reform; and more detailed studies of specific political and organisational changes. 

​Resea​​rch projects

The strategic role of the High North during the Second Cold War
From the mid-1970s until the end of the Cold War – what is often referred to as the Second Cold War – the High North grew in importance due to the build-up of the Soviet Northern Fleet and enhanced tension between the two superpowers and the blocs. In the same period, we saw a revolution in the law of the sea, which led to frictions in the north concerning the extension of the continental shelves and the zones and of the delimitation lines between the states in the region. 

The purpose of the project, which is based on archival sources from Norway and other Western countries, is to study the pattern of conflict and cooperation in the High North, permeated by military build-up and the subsequent erosion of the Soviet empire and the end of bipolar rivalry.
Contact: Rolf Tamnes

Bilateral security relations and Alliance management in the early Cold War
This project addresses different but interlinked elements in US policy towards its smaller allies in the early Cold War, with the Military Assistance Programme (and similar programmes) as the main object of study. Bilateral military aid and assistance was initially considered an alternative to the establishment of permanent alliances. This approach to handling security and military cooperation was however not shelved after the foundation of NATO in 1949, as military aid replaced the ERP in the early 1950’s. The aim of this project is to analyse whether and how such assistance programmes should be understood in a NATO-context, for instance in exploring to which degree they have contributed to the development of so-called alliances within the alliance. Another topic of interest is how bilateral aid programmes relate to NATO’s infrastructure programmes.

The project deals mainly with the political motivations for and consequences of US military aid to Norway, seen in a comparative perspective. The time period of interest is app. 1952–1968.
Contact: Helge Danielsen

Published 30 January 2014 09:09.. Last updated 01 June 2017 15:48.