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Deterrence or reassurance?: Nordic responses to the First Detente, 1953-1956
Swedish National Defence College, Department of Military Studies, War Studies Division.
2007 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of History, ISSN 0346-8755, Vol. 32, no 2, 183-208 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Historians remember 1953 for the death of Stalin and the ensuing relaxation of East-West tensions, now known as the First Detente. Based on recent Cold War scholarship supplemented by primary documentation, this comparative study looks at the Nordic reaction to the First Wtente 1953-1956 in terms of deterrence and reassurance. The results suggest that, while the Nordic governments uniformly welcomed a more relaxed international atmosphere and entertained hopes of genuine dialogue between East and West, they Often differed in their interpretations of Soviet motives and the genuineness of the post- Stalin foreign policy. The tendency to put added emphasis on reassurance (end hence less deterrence) was most apparent in the cases of Iceland and Finland. Danish and Swedish policy shared this tendency, but lacked the degree of consensus found in Iceland. Norway seems to have been the least amenable to a change in perspective. The course of the First Detente led to an even stronger emphasis on reassurance than had been the case previously. In all of the Nordic countries the invasion of Hungary had a similar alarming effect - it swung the pendulum back toward misgivings about Soviet intentions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 32, no 2, 183-208 p.
Keyword [en]
Cold War, Detente, Nordic countries
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-3901DOI: 10.1080/03468750701314816ISI: 000247097700004OAI: diva2:628519
Available from: 2013-06-14 Created: 2013-06-11 Last updated: 2013-06-14Bibliographically approved

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Petersson, Magnus
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