The Swedish Baltic-Policy – A Regional-Foreign-Policy-Analysis
1. The Baltic-context
1.1 Definition of the term Baltic
1.1.1 The three so-called Baltic Republics
1.1.2 The Baltic Sea Region
1.2 Definition of the “region”-concept according to new-regionalism
1.2.2 Old and new geopolitical concepts for cooperation in North- eastern urope
188.8.131.52 Nordic Cooperation or the concept of Fennoscandia
184.108.40.206 Nordic-Baltic Cooperation or the concept of Baltoscandia
220.127.116.11 The institutionalization of Baltic Sea cooperation – the CBSS
18.104.22.168 The Northern Dimension of the European Union (EU)
22.214.171.124 Other regional institutions in Northeastern Europe
1.3 A conclusion: the level of regionalization of the Baltic area
2. A Foreign-Policy-Analysis: The Swedish policy towards the Baltic States 83
2.1 A Chronology of the Swedish Baltic relations
2.1.1 The first phase: Pre-1985
2.1.2 The second phase: 1985 – 1991
2.1.3 The third phase: 1991 – 1995
2.1.4 The fourth phase: 1996 – 2004
2.2 Definitions for the conduct of a Foreign-Policy-Analysis
2.3 Low politics or the management of the inter-societal transactions
2.3.1 The Environmental Policy
2.3.2 The Economic Policy
2.3.3 The Health Policy
2.3.4 The Education Policy
2.3.5 The Cultural-exchange Policy
2.3.6 The City and regional partnerships
2.4 High politics or the politics of self-organization of the state- system
2.4.1 The order of political geography in the Baltic States
2.4.2 The political order concerning the independent Baltic States
2.4.3 The military order concerning the independent Baltic States
The Swedish side – a policy-network-analysis
3. A policy-network approach following Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 131
3.1 The Swedish actors constituting a Baltic-Policy-community
3.2 Policy-network-theory or definition of the Baltic-policy- community
3.3 The advocacy coalition concept or Baltic-discourse in Sweden
3.3.1 The “framåtsyftande lager” or progressive coalition
3.3.2 The “förvirrade lager” or conservative coalition
3.3.3 The “reaktionära / förstenade lager” or reactionary coalition
4. The “shared images” approach applied to Sweden’s Baltic-Policy 144
4.1 Theoretical foundations
4.1.1 Halperin’s concept of the construction of shared images
4.1.2 Markovits and Reich’s approach on Collective Memory and Foreign-Policy
4.2 The structural factors for the Baltic-discourse in Sweden
4.2.1 The characteristics of the Swedish Foreign-Policy-Culture
4.2.2 The general cleavages in Swedish Foreign-Policy
4.3 The two conflicting groups in the Baltic-discourse
4.3.1 The shared images of the “progressive coalition” – the conservative group
4.3.1 The shared images of the “confused” and “reactionary” coalitions – the leftist group
To my parents
I would first of all need to thank Prof. Dr. Susanne Nitsch and MMag. Annemarie Pleininger for their medical support concerning my eyes. Without their help this work would not have been possible.
Furthermore I am grateful to Mag. Hanna Westman, who deepened my understanding of the Swedish language and Dr. Marlene Mayer who took on the exhausting task of typing the bibliography.
My debts to other works of scholarship are, I hope, suitably acknowledged in the text and bibliography of this thesis.
This thesis is the result of a yearlong discussion within the author’s personal environment while studying Political Science and International Relations at the University of Salzburg. At the start was a lecture in Salzburg on Intergovernmental Cooperation and Regional Organizations in Europe by Professor Wahe H. Balekjian (University of Glasgow and Lund) that partly concerned the Nordic Council and the Council of the Baltic Sea States. Both regional organizations involve the geographical area that is the focus of this study.
Additional influence on the author’s thinking came from practical training at the Austrian Ministry of Defense in Vienna, in 2005 and 2006. There he participated in research projects on European Strategic Culture and the “Core-Europe-debate” with their respective impacts on small states and the European periphery.
The research has also been enriched by publications made available through a student-membership at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, as well as a research trip to Stockholm* in 2007.
The author made several journeys to the Baltic Sea Region between 1999 and 2007 (Northeastern Germany, Poland, Estonia, Russia, Finland and Sweden). He directly felt the various forms of Swedish influence there, not least appreciation for Sweden’s model welfare-state. He was also inspired to study the Swedish language, which enabled him to include Swedish as well as German and English sources in this thesis.
Especially the Swedish presence in the Baltic States convinced him to take a closer look at Sweden’s regional behavior, which contrasted sharply in its intensity and variety compared with that of Austria in Central Europe.
At a time when the world seems preoccupied by events in the Middle East and the “global war on terror,” regionalism and regional-foreign-policy-making in Europe has drawn little attention. However, it might yet make an important contribution to evolving European geopolitical architecture as well as the identity-structure of its member-polities. In this context, there is at least some debate about a possible “new regionalism” and the role of Sweden and the so-called Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
The aim of this thesis is to explain Sweden’s Baltic Policy and how it has been shaped in part by that country’s Foreign-Policy Culture as well as shifting developments within and beyond the region. Particular attention is devoted to emerging regional cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region and Northeastern Europe in general between 1985 and 2004, a time that involved the transformation of former Soviet bloc regimes and their shift to democracy and capitalism, as well as accelerating European integration and globalization .
Part of the author’s task was to attempt to grasp the motives or mental maps of the actors involved in the Policy formulation networks. There was a kind of Baltic-Policy-community within the Swedish polity, which was engaged in a constant struggle about which of these maps became dominant or hegemonic over others to limit or to stimulate action.
The outcome of this elite discourse had a guiding influence on all other Swedish (non-elite and/or non-governmental) actors involved.
The theoretical approach
There is a lack of a comprehensive theory either in the fields of International Relations or global politics or for the analysis of Foreign-Policy. The goal of this study is to provide a case study that goes beyond the traditional “actor-network-approach,” focusing on the actors within the nation state with their perceived interests and influences on the flow of decision making in a particular policy, as well as beyond the “Policy-cycle”-theories applied to the Swedish side (after Easton and the like). The author’s overall approach is a heterogenous one different scientific instruments are used in the following order: A Regional Foreign Policy Analysis serving as the backbone of this research (combining “Faupelian” thought on the side of the policy-analysis with the New Regionalism approach adapted to the Baltic area) makes up the first part of the thesis. Sweden’s assistance with the transition from Soviet rule to EU-Membership, partly to foster stability, helped to promote today’s thriving regionalism in the Baltic Sea Area and in Northeastern Europe.
The Baltic States are a key concern in the difficult process of the restructuring of Western relations with Russia and constitute a singular aspect of Swedish-Baltic relations. Other Western European countries, by comparison, have no direct geographical interaction with Russian interests but are nevertheless affected by them, giving the fate of the Baltic republics and the geopolitical architecture of the region a special significance.
The second part of this work is dedicated to constructivist approaches.
First, there is the “shared images” approach according to Halperin and its combination with the theoretical approaches for constructing a collective memory and identity in foreign affairs by Markovits and Reich. This permits us to consider shared and conflicting aggregated images as to the issues at stake, presumably in use among Swedish actors as policy-guiding principles.
These images are then applied to the Foreign-Policy-Community concerned with the Baltic question and Northeastern Europe’s new geopolitical order, which is comprised of decision makers and “validators,” as well as other key players from civil-society—all of them part of what Keller terms a Keller terms a “functional elite”.
This policy-community (a term used in the context of the policy-network approach) as such is divided, following Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith, into two to four so-called “advocacy coalitions,” the vessels of these aggregated, but competing shared images.
These “aggregated images” are further incorporated in a pragmatic (elite-) discourse analysis following Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith. Complex sets of images constitute the discourse positions, and the “currency of meaning” is exchanged between the advocacy coalitions in order to formulate a binding set of them.
Finally, Gramsci’s Theory of Cultural Hegemony is applied to the discourse, which helps explain the conditions under which a certain set of “images” prevail over others and achieve dominance.
According to Kerchner, conditions for hegemony in a discourse lie in a favorable political culture, and flow towards a similarly coined Foreign-Policy culture as a framework for conducting Foreign-Policy.
The normative approach
The normative motive for this research is critically to question the influence of the political and cultural hegemony of the Social Democrats in particular and the Socialist Left in Sweden, which lasted for more then 70 years, and its impact on the political culture of the Swedish Polity and the resulting consequences for the Swedish Foreign Policy Culture in general and Swedish Baltic-Relations in particular.
According to a popular myth, Sweden is seen as standing permanently in an idealistic, morally superior and internationalist Foreign Policy tradition with no regional power aspirations.
Nonetheless, Swedish-Baltic relations between 1985 and 2004 in distinct phases reveal the opposite. According to the mass media an anthromorphized (state-as-actor) Sweden played the heavyweight in consolidating the Baltic transition, paving the way for all three countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) to join the EU and supporting their NATO - membership ambitions. Thus, Sweden temporarily achieved its most influential position in Northeastern Europe since 1712, before its defeat in the Great Nordic War.
This regional behavior of Swedish actors (not Sweden as such) stands in sharp contrast to the popular myth, reflecting, in turn, the Social-Democratic role model character of the Swedish polity. It seems that a strategic culture in foreign policy making — that is, the decision-makers preference for long-term goal planning in the sphere of High Politics in political-administrative functions and a fairly well-informed public debate--was alive in Sweden. Moreover, that strategic culture adapted pragmatically to post-Cold war changes, despite its permanent struggle against a dominant Social Democratic Foreign-Policy Culture that emphasized mere situational management, internationalist rhetoric, and politically correct global issues.
Swedish Baltic relations even under Premier Minister Bildt were often described with social democratic rhetoric, and this continued after his defeat in the 1994 parliamentary election. A Social Democratic Foreign Policy Culture remained dominant despite the vicissitudes of day-to-day policies.
Besides the mystification of the necessary and unavoidable adoption to the new post cold war situation, was such a policy just a question of lucky circumstances used to its advantage by an active government? Sweden may actually have managed slightly better than other comparable polities, because the time was such in Europe that regional alliances would have more success than single-state-centered foreign policies.
The analytical approach
The thesis is divided into two major parts, with the first being dedicated to a regional foreign-policy analysis.
The first chapter deals with the Baltic context, the three Baltic States as well as the Baltic Sea area as the geographical space targeted by the Swedish Baltic-Policy.
Following the new-regionalism approach, the concept of “Region” and the process of region-building is then outlined, and the different historical and contemporary concepts regarding regional cooperation in Northeastern Europe are set fourth after these explanations.
The second chapter focuses on a foreign-policy-analysis.
The chronology of the Swedish-Baltic relations is divided into four phases, reflecting important trends in Sweden, the region, and the world as well as varying levels of engagement by relevant Swedish actors. T
he first period covers the time leading to the start of the Baltic struggle regained independence in 1985 and Sweden’s severe economic problems after the dissolution of the Soviet empire.
The second phase ends in 1991 with the resurrection of the three Baltic States.
The third phase reviews the transition and stabilization processes evolving between 1991 and 1995. These include the accession of the Baltic States to the United Nations and then the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe), the EC (Council of Europe) and the newly formed CBSS (Council of the Baltic Sea States) in 1993. The context was management of the region-wide consequences of the socialist state system’s breakdown.
Besides the achievement of Swedish EU-membership in 1995 and the accompanying shift of sovereignty to Brussels by the first non-social democratic government under Carl Bildt, Sweden was affected by the telecommunications-revolutions and the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMS) after the Second Gulf War in 1991. There was a keen wish to enjoy the so-called peace-dividend of the post-Cold War era.
The final period from 1995 to 2004 includes the efforts of Sweden and the Baltic States to establish a new and stable regional order by integrating the Baltic Republics into the Western security and prosperity community, including membership in NATO and the European Union. The finalization of these processes would preclude the necessity for an active regional engagement by Sweden.
The second part consists of a policy-network-analysis following Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith, in chapter three, and a “shared images” approach applied to Sweden’s Baltic-policy-community in the fourth chapter.
This thesis relies mainly on secondary sources. However, primary sources are also used, including Party or bureaucratic statements, media sources (newspaper editorials, internet documents), books of discourse-participants, and opinion polls.
PART ONE The Swedish Baltic-Policy – A Regional-Foreign-Policy-Analysis
1. The Baltic-context
The task of this chapter is to present a Regional-Foreign-Policy Analysis in the form of a general survey of the Swedish Baltic-Policy by defining and clarifying the terms used in the context of a (basic) Policy-Analysis. This will serve as a foundation and an essential prerequisite for understanding the main subject behind this research, the reconstruction of the images-based Foreign-Policy Discourse between the different coalitions comprising the Policy-Community that is involved with Swedish-Baltic relations.
One can understand Swedish Baltic-Policy as a comprehensive policy, which entails all levels of interaction from Low- to High-Politics focused on, and limited by the regional context of the Baltic area. The term Baltic area here has two meanings: At the geographical core of this Regional-Policy are the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, but almost equally important is the Baltic Sea Area as a whole. That area was intimately engaged in the transition from bloc confrontation to European Integration and has become a “region-in-the making” as defined by Waever, Williams and Stålvant maintain that Sweden’s Baltic Policy’s actually involved the three Baltic-States, as well as the overall Baltic Sea Region and Northeastern Europe.
Four time periods are examined; the pre-1985 period, the struggle for independence between 1985 and 1991, the transition and stabilization phase from 1992 to 1995, and finally the Europeanization and accompanying achievement of full access to the “international community” by the three Baltic Republics until 2004. Each temporal phase engaged different trends and actors on various levels and also reflected varying emphases by governments on Low or High Politics. Over time there was an erosion of the Swedish state’s monopoly over foreign affairs and accompanying opening to non-governmental actors, as well as increasing regionalization.
As suggested, the constituent parts of the Baltic-Policy are outlined involving issues in the realm of High as well as Low Politics. The author will attempt to discuss which actors did what and when, and at which level or in which fora. Low Politics refers to different policies that manage the flow of relatively routine inter-societal transactions.According to Faupel, the sphere of High Politics is structured by the three main orders constituting the self-organization of the state-system, especially relevant between the 1985 and 1994 pre-EU-phase. These represent the order of the political geography, the political or power order, and the military order.
1.1 Definition of the term Baltic
The term “Baltic” has a quite recent origin. The geographical region, which today we call Baltic to group Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, was invented in 1845 by the German linguist and geographer Ferdinand Nesselmann. He derived the word from the Latin name for the sea “mare balticum,” which has been in use since Roman times. However, that term was limited to the territories settled by Lithuanians and Latvians and excluded the Estonians as being part of the Finno-Ugric language family. Most analysts put all three cultures and languages together into one geopolitical unit, despite their lacking any real feelings of unity. Interestingly, moreover, since the late 19th century various ethnic groups living in the area were excluded from being Baltic. This included the Germans, a considerable irony for the ruling German nobility, whose ancestors were the German Knights in Estonia, Livonia and Latvia and who up to that time were the only ones calling themselves Balts. That name, in turn, a name derived from the Lithuanian word “baltas”, meaning white and also noble. Jews, Russians and all other minorities lumped together were during long periods of Baltic history compared to ethnic Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians effectively the majority of Baltic society.
1.1.1 The three so-called Baltic republics
Prior to the second half of the 19th century, these small nations never felt a sense of nationalism, except perhaps the Lithuanian nobility. They lived as peasants with loose tribal identity—including other tribes or peoples like the Livonians, Kurians and the Pruzzians or the Latgallians--under the rule of a predominately German gentry. The Russian Revolution in 1917 gave independence to the Russian Baltic Sea provinces as the three separate republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Even today the Baltic States are small by European standards. Estonia has just 1.3 million inhabitants, and Latvia approximately 2.2 million, and Lithuania, the largest, 3.4 million. These small numbers reflect a very low population density, which even compared to Scandinavia make them peripheral to the rest of Europe.
The three states have no natural border with Russia, but despite their weakness and vulnerability, they have cherished their differences and animosities. This tendency is facilitated by the fact that they have relatively little in common. They do not share a common language, and as noted earlier, only the Latvians and Lithuanians share the same ethnic and to a certain degree linguistic origin, and even they have a different history and culture. Nevertheless, it is perhaps to the advantage of the three republics that many outsiders regard them as having some degree of unity.
After 1991, having achieved their renewed independence, an immediate reorientation within their national discourses took place, which tried to erase the connotation of belonging to the post-socialist or even post-Soviet Eastern Europe.
All three states now define themselves not only as Baltic Sea States, but also as Nordic or at least northern countries, which resulted in the membership inquiry for the Nordic Council (NC) in 1992. Especially Lithuania rejects its often-presumed affinity towards Poland or even Central Europe, because of historic enmities. In the perspective of the Baltic nationalities, their future lies in Europe and also Scandinavia or Norden.
These efforts and statements were met by the Scandinavians, as is written by Lieven “…with their customary politeness and total internal rejection.” He asked a Scandinavian representative in the Baltic about this:
“Do Swedes consider the Estonians to be at least potential Scandinavians?”
“In principle, yes”
What about the Latvians?”
“Well, it’s rather difficult to say, because the Latvians don’t really have a national character.”
“And the Lithuanians?”
This suggests that the three states have a different intensity in their relationship with the five Nordic States and especially with Sweden.
Even though Lithuania sees its future as a Nordic state in Europe, it is the Baltic nation that has the least Nordic characteristics. Due to its strong resistance after 1944, with the most successful operations among the “forest brothers” guerilla forces resisting Soviet occupation, Lithuania has preserved great ethnic homogeneity. It has the least number of Russian and other Soviet migrants of all three Baltic republics. Furthermore, Lithuania is the only Baltic country that is mainly Catholic, with a long-lasting independent statehood and a history of an imperial relationship with Poland. It has traditionally been oriented towards Central and Southeastern Europe and had barely any interaction with Sweden or other Nordic nations.
Only through the Latvians does there exist a certain ethnic relationship, but with both Latvians and Estonians Lithuanians share a common experience of Russian and then Soviet rule.
In contrast to Lithuania, Latvia has the biggest non-Latvian population of nearly 40%, which leads to permanent tensions in the formulation of a national identity. In any event, these conflicts have not hindered the establishment of a national consensus declaring Latvia a Baltic Sea and Nordic state enjoying a special relationship with Sweden, which is seen as a primary international partner. This estimation brings forth a collective memory from the post-independence construction in Latvia that Swedish imperial rule in the 17th century was a golden age. There is also the attractiveness of Swedish wealth and a common protestant culture.
Estonians, a Finno-Ugric tribe, are the oldest settlers in the area and regard themselves as ethnically related to the Finns. Even though Estonia is the country with the highest percentage of “Russians” within its borders, it also sees itself as a Baltic Sea State and the only real Nordic country in comparison to its neighbors. Estonia is furthermore a protestant country with a history of being a Swedish province for over 100 years. In most respects Estonians are slightly better off than the other Balts, and their trans-societal interactions (incl. Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, travels, etc.) with the Nordic states are dense and rapidly increasing, which is seen as evidence for Estonian “nordishness”.
Despite their differences and conflicts, all three states want to be anchored in Europe, the wider West, and Norden, and as was said, despite their great cultural differences and imbalances in economic terms, they are often content to be seen as one geopolitical unit.
This perception had a great impact on the geopolitical concepts of the new Northeastern Europe, as well as on the general regionalism debate, which will be reviewed in the following sub-chapter.
1.1.2 The Baltic Sea Region
As noted earlier, Baltic also stands for the Baltic Sea Region, which was resurrected, or more precisely reinvented--like the three Baltic States--after the dissolution of the Soviet Union as a regional political concept. Thus the Baltic Sea Region has become a region-in-the-making, as Ole Waever puts it. At its core of its political legitimacy are the three Baltic States, which constitute a subregion with specific characteristics. These very unstable entities, which declared themselves independent states during the regime changes and secessions from the Soviet empire’s dissolution process, created a totally unforeseeable situation for the Western community. This basically meant that the Nordic states and also Germany (but also other Western powers) had to find a way of stabilizing the transition-countries of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia as well as Poland in their immediate environment, while at the same time forging a stronger integration of Russia into the newly evolving western security and economic architecture.
Although this thesis focuses primarily on the Swedish Baltic-Policy in relation with the three republics, the wider Baltic Sea area and its accompanying regionalization processes are also important for the policy. In fact, the Policy oscillates between the Baltic States and the broader context of regionalization, European integration and also globalization to a certain degree. What began in a time of crisis and transition, remained in flux for a long period, and eventually came together quite successfully in May 2004.
Just for a relatively short period, the Baltic Sea Region became a model for regionalism in the New Europe after 1991, when Sweden together with Finland was one of the most active actors in a variety of intergovernmental and inter-societal cooperation processes that transpired from 1985-2004. For instance, the Economist in 1998 proclaimed the Baltic Sea region to be the largest, most complicated, and at the same time most promising region of the New Europe. However, by 2000 the Economist was characterizing most of the Baltic Sea cooperation efforts as essentially a lot of hot air.
Contradictory as they are, these two statements highlight the significance of the Baltic Sea Region as a model for the relevance of a region in Global Politics. The Economist aside, there were many who were appreciative of this region-in-the-making during the 1990’s and as late as the 2004 EU expansion. Consider the former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s remark, in July 2000, that the Baltic Sea Region was a “Laboratory for Europe”. According to Schröder, the “Baltic Sea region is more important as a trade partner for Germany than the USA”. Economic development was one of the decisive reasons since the mid 1990’s for Germany’s strong support for the “Baltic enlargement” of the EU in 2004.
The things that have been happening around the Baltic Sea Rim since the end of the Cold War have not gone unnoticed by social scientists, and have led them to look for ways of characterizing and explaining this new emerging network of inter-societal transactions.
A classification of Baltic Sea region development within three concentric circles, including globalization, Europeanization and regionalization, has been united within the framework of New Regionalism, but more in the context of a scientific debate rather than a comprehensive approach. Region-building involves many questions of identity arising from complex historical bonds.
Parallel to the expanding phenomena of globalization and Europeanization in many areas, a process of regionalization has emerged which counteracts these processes.
As is the case with the Baltic, trans-national networks that evolved out of different fragmentation and integration processes with different levels of engagement. These united the shore states that are members of NATO and/or the EU with those that are non-alliance and from 1992-2004 non-integrational partners in a single cooperation context. That context focused exclusively on “soft security” and related economic development, as well as dismantling trade barriers, environmental and border protection issues.
This form of interaction between states and emerging sub-regions could eventually eliminate future potential for political divisions through confidence building and common problem solving, as well as a parallel achievement of common welfare standards. As has been said, “These sub-regions are mostly built upon common interests and a common identity in the broader sense.”
The role of post-nation state territorial entities in the context of the globalizing neo-liberal world economic order, after the dissolution of the bi-polar system, has to a certain extent become a research-object within the field of global politics. This is especially true for constructivist as well as cultural scientists and historians.Therefore, it seems appropriate to take a closer look at the concept of “Region” and the New-Regionalism debate of the 1990’s. Indeed, despite the fact that Swedish Baltic-Policy began in 1992 as an inter-state neighborhood policy, it can only be understood in the broader framework of regionalization.
1.2 Definition of the “region”-concept according to new-regionalism
Waever’s concept of region in the context of a ‘Europe of Regions’ includes “sub-state entities such as municipalities and provinces and so-called sub-national regions. His concept also encompasses regions with much larger territories, which are co-operative frameworks between nation states”.For Waever it is assumed that the term region is a territorially defined entity similar to the nation state, but without possessing any kind of sovereignty.
Other definitions of “Region” differentiate between the meaning of terms such as regionalization, regionalism, and regionality. For Smith, Regionalism is the result of conscious, goal-orientated policy-making, whereas Hettne uses it as a general term for a larger process. According to his interpretation, regionalization and region building are again the actual dynamic factors which produce regionality. While regionality for Hettne relates more to that which already exists, that is, the final product of regionalization, the term regionalism is used for the theoretical superstructure of New Regionalism. The following discussion will use the terms according to Hettne’s definition as used in Williams’ paper.
In sum, there are different assessments and emphases offered to explain the new regional forms of cooperation after 1991. “Whereas one group is searching for common historical roots and cultural and societal points of intersection (see Gerner 1994), the other focuses on the functional, pragmatic arguments for analyzing the process of region building”. The functions which regionalism may assume within global politics are being shown in this thesis through the example of Baltic Sea Cooperation.
There are three elements of regionalism which may be said to shape an “imagined community” like the Baltic Sea Region. First of all, regional alliances must share common historical experiences and have similar problems to be tackled within a common geographical space. Secondly, strong bonds must exist between the participating states, and it should be possible to form one or several coordinating institutions or organizations. And finally, the will to apply common norms and also allow this interaction to be controlled must be recognizable.
These basic preconditions that a “regionalized” region must possess have been specified in the theoretical framework of New Regionalism. Since the 1990’s, the New Regionalism approach has been applied to the interpretation and analysis of new forms of regional cooperation in what Waever calls the sense of cross-border trans-regions, as in the Baltic Sea region.
A coherent approach for these newly emerging regions can be found especially in Hettne’s studies. Dynamic movements toward a balanced multi-polarism and the spontaneous development of new regions through a bottom-up or grass-roots principle form the core of Hettne’s definition of New Regionalism. Hettne sees the new regionalism debate as a reaction to globalization and defines both these tendencies as the two sides of a single coin. For Hettne, New Regionalism is a dual process: on the one hand, integration takes place among the regions, while on the other hand, a fragmentation of old frameworks occur within the nation state. Another central element of the New Regionalism approach is recognizing the ‘pooling of resources’ phenomenon by regional actors that creates networks for economic, ecological, social, and cultural cooperation. One of the focal points of this new form of cooperation is the establishment of a functioning infrastructure among the different actors.
According to Hettne, there are five levels of regionality, which are marked by varying degrees of homogeneity: (1) the region as a geographical unit, (2) the region as a social system, (3) the region as an organized cooperation, (4) the region as a civil society, and (5) the region as a subject with a certain identity, legitimacy and qualities of an actor within global politics. If a region is sufficiently regionalized, one can begin to ask whether it is recognized as an actor in international relations and what functions it serves in world politics. 
Smith has defined these functions of regionality within world politics. The first function describes a situation in which states and other groupings form their involvement in the international arena in a top-down mode. The goal of this form of cooperation is strengthening the ability of the nation state and controlling its acting environment so that the nation state can draw from this the maximum advantage. In the long run, this serves to consolidate a nation-state’s security, growth, and cohesion. The second function aims at transferring the authority of nation states and other groupings on to regional bodies. A good example of this is not just the principle of subsidiarity in the European Union (Treaty of the European Union, Article 5 II) and the concept of a ‘Europe of Regions,’ but also the growing integration of regions into the context of the nation state (e. g. Scotland). The third function clearly involves New Regionalism: the main focus of this is installing a counterweight to globalization, whether it is to serve the function as a stopper, or as a building block. Since the first two functions clearly focus on micro-regions within the nation-state, it is necessary to examine whether the third function can be applied to Baltic Sea cooperation.
Hettne’s criteria are applied in analyzing the Baltic Sea cooperation to evaluate the extent of region building along with its functions and potentials.
According to Waever, “The first step in region-building, in the case of the Baltic Sea region has been a series of conferences, think tank reports and articles in more or less scientific journals. All of this was done by intellectuals and to some extent also by the cultural elite with a clear political intention, which started out creating the image of what is the natural and important context –the place of the future. These efforts were the foundation of the not-yet-very-real-identity of this “proto-region”, which--together with the many independent economic, “technical” and political decisions the Baltic Cooperation network--has constituted a second step in region-building.
The goal of all these measures, and more or less also of the decentralized, non-state cooperation efforts, was to create an image that would present the Baltic Sea Region as a natural unit, which would be well suited to the new European architecture – for most Scandinavians “the European challenge”.
As already stressed, an important priority for regionalism is promoting the development of a common culture and infrastructure as its material linkage. This means that culture underpins identity and shared emotional attachment, while infrastructure has always been a major precondition for regional economic development. Only when culture and infrastructure are in place is it possible for the inter-societal routine transaction to thrive, allowing for security and other high-politics issues to be dealt with.
Political spaces are created primarily through the rhetoric and actions of policy makers. Over the past centuries the governing of territories by the nation state has generated the idea of territorial accumulation as a means for securing political power. The evolving of other forms of political regions in Northern Europe is not necessarily a new development, but it has nonetheless regained its popularity since the end of the Cold War.
The Baltic Sea Region is not the only region in the making in Northeastern Europe since 1991, but it stands in a kind of competition for resources and attention with other overlapping concepts presented later.
“The discourse on region-building around the Baltic Sea has revitalized various historical precursors to be used as a model in order to better trace the necessary similarities that are needed for a construction of a common identity and can so be used for a common purpose. However, as this occurs principally in a search for historical roots, it very quickly became evident that one must be very careful not to pour salt into old wounds and to re-awaken certain unwelcome ghosts of the past. This happened most likely without any bad intentions through the initiative chaired by the former Premier of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, Björn Engholm, who supported a revival of the Hanseatic movement in form of a ‘New Hanse’ in the Baltic Sea region. (see Wulff and Kerner 1994) The Hanseatic League as a network of cities with economic and political connections and the sea as its centre could function as a historical model for good contacts, exchange of information, and the formation of a new economic centre around the Baltic Rim. This notion remained very controversial because many participating states were reminded more of the predominant role of the Germans in this time than of golden days of peaceful co-operation.”
The often emphasized historical similarities and close cultural ties between the Baltic States, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania and Poland that actually existed and continue to exist are also not to be regarded as completely unproblematic. For historical reasons, i.e., the specific power constellations of the time, these historical memories do not necessarily produce only positive reactions but can also be interpreted as connotations of a latent neo-colonialism. Especially Finland and the three Baltic States may, understandably, react in a somewhat irritated way when, for example, Swedes, Danes and Germans use well-meaning comparisons to bygone times.
To clarify the ingredients of this mainly benevolent and enthusiastic ‘region-building historicism’, the historical connections and axes of cooperation around the Baltic Sea will be briefly summarized here.
In the late 16th century, sovereign territorial states began to assume power from the Hanseatic League and to constitute a new political order around the Baltic Sea. It was at this time that the term Dominium Maris Baltici became more common. Any attempt today to construct boundaries across the sea is considered a reminder of this time.
At the beginning of the 18th century the Baltic Sea concept was replaced by the idea of ‘the North’. Henningsen sees the reason for this in the emerging supremacy of the Russian Empire in the Baltic Sea region in the years between 1703 and 1725, which placed the North not only on a north-south, but also on an east-west axis. There are also two further reasons for this: on the one hand it was the end of the stormaktstiden, the Swedish era of supremacy, which had stabilized the political power structure around the Baltic Sea. In addition, however, there was the notion of being able to negotiate in a peaceful manner about the division of sea territories that was no longer completely rejected.
This broader view of the territorial situation in north-eastern Europe and the subdivision of the regions in an east-west scheme continued until World War I. The period of independence of the Baltic States and the detachment of Finland from Russia in the first decades of the 20th century finally made a common definition of the Baltic Sea region possible again. Especially the Baltic States were fond of this idea and founded the concept of a Baltic League. The Scandinavians, however, had at that time already started to construct their identity on the basis of the North, based on Wilhelm Ramsay’s geopolitical concept of Fennoscandia, and therefore this idea of Baltoscandia was never realized. A further reason why the idea of a Baltic Group--driven by Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on a north-south axis from Poland over the Baltic States to Finland and Scandinavia--failed was because of the lack of interest by the latter two. Finally, the Soviet occupation brought about an end to this concept.
The terms Scandinavia and Norden, used almost synonymously since the 19th century, were also altered in the context of the East-West division. National romanticism transfigured ‘being Nordic’, which showed in national anthems and other cultural phenomena, such as the Nordiska Museet (Nordic Museum) in Stockholm, which served as the Swedish national museum. The Norden of today has abandoned its nationalistic connotations and is now, according to Joenniemi, more of a post-nationalistic phenomenon.” This system of Norden has functioned as a form of close cooperation between the Scandinavian States especially since World War II, and has acted in various fields as a somewhat homogeneous region within world politics.
The region-building process in the Baltic Sea area can be summarized as follows: Regions are a construction related to nations, and one can compare the region-building to the nation-building process. This similarity leads Iver Neumann to argue that: “The existence of regions is preceded by the existence of region-builders, a political actor who, as part of some political project, imagines a certain spatial and chronological identity for a region, and disseminates this imagined identity to others.”
In contrast to the interwar years the Scandinavian-Baltic connection gradually came to be regarded as a natural development on the western shore of the Baltic Sea, and has formed an accepted project for the European future on both sides of the Baltic Sea. Its manifestations include the Nordic Council, the Arctic Council, the Barents-Euro-Arctic Council, the Northern Forum, the North European Initiative, and finally the Northern Dimension of the EU as possibly the ultimate institutional umbrella. The Baltic Sea Region has been adopted into the political language as a new organizing concept for the location of one’s own nation-state.
Following Lehti further, most interactions of the new relationship are concentrated in the Baltoscandia region (explained later) and not in the wider Baltic Sea area. The most important exceptions here are economic and environmental cooperation, the grounds of which lay in the new Hansa rhetoric, with its emphasis on the entire Baltic Sea region.
According to Lehti, the new discourse about the Baltic Sea region, which began after 1991, has been two-sided. “One side sees the Baltic Sea Region as a trans-region which includes Northern Germany and Poland and the western areas of Russia, but at the same time there exists another kind of discourse on a wider Nordic area, and this discourse is based on states and their borders. These two interpretations have not been exclusive; they have coexisted, and often their characters have been fused. The whole area is being formed through emerging ties, and these ties are characterized by a variety of networks. Different bonds and ties which are based on different discourses are unified in these networks, and so a new Baltic Sea Region as an entity is portrayed as being a truly post-modern region. An interstate region and a trans-region are present at the same time in the same region. Nations, states, provinces, towns and even smaller institutions like universities construct their own Baltic Sea networks, and the whole region is based on this variety and disparity of actors.” The same is true for the even more intense Swedish Baltic relations.
Nevertheless, the main issue of contention concerning the region-building process in the Baltic Sea area stems from the difference in historical time between the eastern and the western shores of the Baltic Sea. In the west, a region is constructed more to answer the needs of post-modern society, and out of the necessity of taking stabilizing actions for the transition countries, while at the same time the role of the state is diminishing through the globalizing and Europeanization processes. In contrast, the construction of the Baltic Sea region is still a part of nation-building for the Baltic States. This difference however, has not hindered the establishment of a close network across the Baltic Sea, resulting in a region composed of different elements existing beyond the state-centric world. Even though the nation has remained a fundamental part in the discourse on region-building, especially for the Baltic States and Poland, “the state is no longer needed as a mediator between nation and region, and region defines nation without the concept of a nation-state neither”.
1.2.2 Old and New Geopolitical Concepts for Cooperation in North-eastern Europe
Different historical and contemporary geopolitical concepts in Northeastern Europe influence the development of the Baltic Sea Region.
126.96.36.199 Nordic Cooperation or the concept of Fennoscandia
One basis is the old Nordic Cooperation, which means in its new form the extension of the Nordic identity to the three Baltic States.
The so-called New North is a geopolitical and geographical concept of integrating Northeastern European countries-in-transition into a cross-border and inter-regional network of cooperation. The aims of these cooperative networks like the Baltic Sea Region are to create efficient economies and political stability, cooperation in planning and constructing infrastructures, the conservation of ecological systems, and an exchange around cultural, social and educational policies. These efforts were financially supported by the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), and especially the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) (to be discussed later).
Furthermore, the Nordic Council (NC) established offices in all three Baltic capitals in 1991 to help to stabilize their quest for independence. Since 1989, the NC also contacted parliamentarians from the three republics, which led to the foundation of the Baltic Assembly modeled after the NC in 1991; and to the establishment of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC), in which the NC countries that initialized this agreement participate along with the European, Russian and the three Baltic Parliaments.
In addition, the NC launched a special NGO program in the Baltic Sea Region for further developing stable democratic societies, as well as a Joint Nordic-Baltic mobility program for cultural exchanges, and business and civil service matters.
Like its Cold War predecessor, the new Nordic Cooperation--today institutionalized in the Nordic Council--is the central model for regional intergovernmental intercourse and the main forum of coordination for the Scandinavian countries in all regional cooperation contexts. This Nordic model of cooperation functioned during the time of bi-polarism at the level of low politics.The underlying geopolitical concept of Nordic Cooperation is Fennoscandia, developed in the 19th century as a tool for reconciling Scandinavianism with the old imperial Swedish domain of Finland lost to Russia in 1809. This concept not only attempted to visualize a culturally and politically motivated cooperation among Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland, but also a natural geographical and climatic unit, which was ripe to discover other similarities and thus form the basis for a genuine Nordic identity. But as will be shown, this Nordic identity--formed in the period of national romanticism--was enriched and to some extent intertwined with social democratic values and the structural conditions of the cold war.
Upon examining the content of Nordic identity as the product and prerequisite of cooperation, Waever says, one encounters only meanings from the postwar period until 1960 (and to a certain extent from the interwar years) that correlates with the hegemonic position achieved by the Social Democrats in all spheres of Swedish society. This Nordic identity needed to adapt to the challenges of post-Cold-War Europe. Being “Nordic” during the Cold War years meant being part of Europe, but being somewhat better off than the rest-- being more peaceful and displaying more social and global solidarity.
Especially Sweden constructed its internationalism as a surrogate nationalism, combining the Scandinavian model of the ideal state – the welfare state- and the Nordic security arrangement of the Cold War.
So-called Nordic Peacefulness is one of the cornerstones of the Nordic self-image.
The security arrangement created by the two superpowers-- a low-tension regime for the whole of Northern Europe--was obviously not attributable to the Nordic states, with their perceived anti-militaristic societies, but it did enable the construction of an image of a peaceful and unarmed Norden. In addition to this, Finland, and to a far greater extent Sweden, both adopted neutrality as their security strategy. Sweden, having formally practiced neutrality since its loss of Finland in 1809, developed it further into a national dogma during the Cold War. This became heavily contested in Sweden after the three Baltic States gained independence in 1991 (especially in the formulation of its Baltic-Policy), and Sweden’s own accession to the EU in 1995. But neutrality nevertheless remained intact as a major characteristic of Swedish exceptionalism.
The second important feature of wider Nordic exceptionalism that facilitated cooperation efforts is the welfare state, which helped to sustain a Norden claim to being a model society. The Nordic or specifically the Swedish model of the welfare state is the social democratic form established during the “social democratic century”, which according to Arne Ruth has central elements like economic growth, equality, work, rationality, state and internationalism. These ideals also form the pillars of Nordic political values, which now are endangered by Europeanization. For this reason changes to the social democratic paradigm “will not simply be a matter of concern for Nordic Social Democrats, but would go, rather, to the very core of national culture in the Nordic countries. The crisis of social democracy would be a crisis of national identity as well, and… Sweden would be even harder hit than its neighbors.”
The Nordic or Swedish model has not escaped the general questioning of modernity and enlightenment values, which appears irreversible since mass-Muslim-migration has taken place. This model was nonetheless seen by some as a possible solution for Eastern Europe, but this view did not appear to gain much traction in Eastern Europe.
So, although the welfare state is not entirely off the agenda, despite heavy neo-liberal attacks, only the German model has any current weight in the European debate.
While the Cold War economic system had two competing points--the planned economy and capitalism – any distance naturally led to the privilege of being third. In contrast, within the new global capitalist system, the European subdivision has one dominant centre – the EU – and any distance from this becomes simply peripherialism.
A third component of Nordic identity, concerning Norden-South relations, might be called the Nordic Third World identity. Arne Ruth argues that it was during the 1950’s that “the concern for the plight of the Third World” entered into Swedish popular consciousness as an additional aspect of the Swedish model of society. Since then, the image of a progressive Nordic role has increasingly become generally accepted, not only in Norden but also in the rest of the “North” and in the “South”. So now during the post-Cold War period, although the Third World profile has also been affected by the multiple changes, these are not as intense as those affecting the two other features of common Nordic identity. The Nordic voice was far more essential and even unique during the Cold War days, than today in a multi-polar world, where the Nordic societies are seen as part of Europe and hence the West, which policies seem to be more powerful and effective than the Nordic ones.
It appears that the essence of at least the first two of the three dimensions of Nordic identity is being better off as opposed to better than Europe. The basis for thinking that the Nordic countries can play a positive role in the Third World (and sometimes in Europe) does not originate from their nature, nor in their history or national mission (unlike the United States, France or the ex-Soviet Union), but rather in their societies.
“Because they were removed from the harsh East-West struggles, we could play a more independent role, and because they are domestically peaceful, socially successful and rich, we can be a model for other countries. For this type of identity to work as an identity, it has to work as actuality, as outcome, status. The Nordic countries must really have lower tension than Central Europe, and the Nordic peoples must really live in a society with more solidarity and justice and a comparatively high level of wealth. Unlike identities that rest on being inherently better, which are relatively invulnerable to actual outcomes, Nordic identity is deeply affected by contemporary events and overall images of them.
When meaning of our times was the East-West conflict, the question was whether to join this or transcend it, with the latter being the superior, future-oriented course. Now that meaning of our times is the Europeanization process with its two dynamics of 1989 and 1992 and the key concepts of political freedom rights, free markets and integration, suddenly the sources of the future are to be found on the Continent.
In this situation, in Norden’s own terms – international peacefulness, a model for domestic society – “Europe” appears to be doing better than the Nordic project. Now what appears “progressive” is the integrating, market-based, cooperative, sovereignty neglecting Europe – not the distancing, “Third Way”, self-protecting Norden of sovereign states.”
188.8.131.52 Nordic-Baltic Cooperation or the concept of Baltoscandia
The geopolitical Baltoscandia concept has become a seldom-used concept in the discourse on region-building, in sharp contrast to the interwar period when it was invented and was part of the national self-invention of the three Baltic States. Today it is just another label for an area that includes the Baltic States, Finland and Scandinavia, sometimes even termed the Baltic 8 (“5+3” or NB8 ), which means the five member states of the Nordic Council plus the three Baltic republics. Nonetheless, it was this area within the Baltic region which saw the most intense quantitative as well as qualitative relationship in Baltic Sea cooperation. Hence the focus of the Swedish Baltic-Policy concerned with the sub-region of the three Baltic States, or the more old-fashioned Baltoscandia.
The roots of Baltoscandia lie under the term Fennoscandia, which was introduced in 1898 by the Finnish geologist Wilhelm Ramsay. For him, Fennoscandia covered Scandinavia and Finland, as well as East Karelia and the Kola Peninsula. “The origin of the term lay in geology and the similarity of its bedrock was the fundamental argument behind the unity of Fennoscandia. Fennoscandia has, however, had a wider meaning beyond geology and it has been used as one proof of a natural connection between Finland and Scandinavia.”
What has been a guiding concept for Nordic cooperation including Finland has been one of the historical incentives, most appreciated by the Baltic States, for the new regional architecture in Northeastern Europe and hence Baltic Sea cooperation
Even though Baltoscandia like Fennoscandia was seen as a natural geographic and also cultural unit, the national mythologies of Estonia and Latvia also stressed the Scandinavian connection, because of the powerful myth that the time of the Swedish Empire being presented as a golden age. The Swedish period formerly represented, and to some degree still serves, as a counterweight against German and Russian predominance in the historical narrative. Thus Scandinavia and especially Sweden were seen as a symbol for freedom and democracy, despite its behavior after the Soviet occupation in 1940.
Like the popular term Scandinavia that replaced Fennoscandia, Baltoscandia was also coined discursively, although it seemed as its use was mainly confined to the Baltic States national discourses, and was considered a region only in some political, cultural and scientific discussions. These discussions that began in the 1920’s led to the idea of a possible institutionalization of intergovernmental and inter-societal cooperation between the Nordic countries and Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in the form of a “Baltic League” or federation of the small states in the region. Later, in 1992, it might have been implemented in the form of an extended Nordic Council to create a “new Baltoscandia”, but the idea was immediately rejected by the five Nordic States. They proposed the creation of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), which arose from a Danish-German initiative as a new platform for cooperation.
Thus, during both periods of independence in the 20th century, the Baltic States national discourses oscillated between being Baltic and being Nordic. The Nordic world and the Baltic Sea area were fused, and the Baltic Sea region gained significance through the Nordic connection. Estonia for example, sees itself simultaneously as a Nordic as well as a Baltic Sea country; and both concepts are becoming more and more synonymous for the new Northeastern Europe. “Thus, Estonian independence and national identity was again defined through the Scandinavian connection.”
* The stay included visits to the following institutions: the Department of Political Science of the University of Stockholm, the SIEPS (The Swedish Institute for European Public Policy), the stadsbibliotket, the Sverigehuset and the SI (Swedish Institute), the Riksdagens-library, the Foreign Office’s Library, the information department of the “Statsminister”, the Södertörns Högskola (Södertörns University College) in Huddinge with its Center for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) and its incorporated Baltic and East European Studies Graduate School (BEEGS). the Olof Palme International Affairs Institute, the Anna-Lindh-library complex, consisting of the SIIA (Swedish Institute on International Affairs) and the Defence College (or Försvarshögskolan in Swedish).
 Rosenau uses the term “fragmegration” to label this process. See: Rosenau, James N.: “Turbulence in World Politics: A Theory of Change and Continuity”, Princeton University Press 1990 and Rosenau, James N.: “Distant Proximities: Dynamics beyond Globalization”, Princeton University Press 2003. Besides the global stage Kuisma defines four core features of change especially relevant for Northern Europe: globalization, multiculturalism, end of the Westphalian order and the crisis of the European and Nordic social democracy. See: Kuisma, Mikko: “Social Democratic internationalism and the welfare state after the “golden age”, special issue on Nordic internationalism in: Cooperation and Conflict volume 42(1) March 2007, p.5. The period concerned begins in the mid 1980ies with the Perestroika-Reforms in the Soviet Union and ends with the south-eastern EU-enlargement in 2004, which may allow observing in a 20 years period the significant erosion of sovereignty as well as a weakening of the representation-monopoly of the Swedish bureaucracy in Foreign Affairs in line with the perceived global trends.
 For the foreign-policy-analysis see: Faupel, Klaus: „Entwicklung als Politikbereich auf der Ebene des zeitgenössischen internationalen Systems“, in: Wolfgang Jäger, Hans-Otto Mühleisen, Hans Joachim Veen (Hg.), „Republik und dritte Welt: Festschrift für Dieter Oberndörfer zum 65. Geburtstag“, Paderborn, 1994, 91-112, p.94-95 and also: Faupel, Klaus: „Philosophie und System der gliedstaatlichen Außenpolitik“, in: Roland Floimair (Hg.), „Die Regionale Außenpolitik des Landes Salzburg“, Salzburg, 1993, p.28 and: Faupel, Klaus: „Zum Stellenwert der Macht in der internationalen Politik, Ein systematischer Überblick über den Objektbereich“, in: Peter R. Weilemann, Hans Jürgen Küsters, Günter Buchstab (Hg.), „Macht und Zeitkritik, Festschrift für Hans-Peter Schwarz zum 65. Geburtstag“, Paderborn, 1999, p.477-492 furthermore: Faupel, Klaus: „Internationale Regime als Gegenstände für sozialwissenschaftlicher Forschung“, in: „Jahrbuch der Universität Salzburg 1981-1983“, Salzburg, 1984, S.94-105 and finally: Faupel, Klaus: „Der Ort der Regionalen Außenpolitik im System der internationalen Politik“, in: „Kärntner Jahrbuch für Politik“, 1998, p..151-174 also some foils from Prof. Faupel’s seminars have contributed to the author’s adaptation of a quintessential „faupelian“ structure of analysis, only to get a deeper understanding of the “high” and “low” politics concept also the work of Kegley, Jr., Charles. W./Wittkopf, Eugene R.: “World Politics”, 6th ed. New York 1997 has been used,
 The authors used in the context of the new regionalism approach are the following: With Williams, Leena-Kaarina: “The Baltic Sea Region: Forms and Functions of Regional Co-operation”, Berlin 2000 (This publication is a revised edition of the author's thesis for a Masters degree in European Studies in July 2000 at the “European Center for Comparative Government and Public Policy, Berlin”.) in the first place, followed by Hettne, Björn: “Globalization and the New Regionalism: The Second Great Transformation.” In: Björn Hettne, András Inotai and Osvaldo Sunkel: Globalism and the New Regionalism. Basingstoke 1999, Stubbs, Richard and Geoffrey Underhill (eds.): Political Economy and the Changing Global Order. Basingstoke 1994, Smith, Michael: “Regions and Regionalism.” In: Brian White, Richard Little, and Michael Smith: Issues in World Politics. Basingstoke 1997, Neumann, Iver B.: “A region-building approach to Northern Europe”, in: Review of International Studies, vol. 20. Cambridge, Haukkala, Hiski: “The Northern Dimension and the Baltic Sea Region in the Light of New Regionalism.” In: Hiski Haukkala (ed.): Dynamic Aspects of the Northern Dimension. Turku 1999, p.79ff..
 It is especially visible in contrast to Central Europe.
 Halperin, Morton H.: „Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy“, The Brookings Institution, 1974, p. 11-24.
 Markovits, Andrei S. / Reich, Simon: „The German Predicament: Memory and Power in the New Europe” Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, 1997, p.11.
 See: Keller, Suzanne: “Beyond the Ruling Class – Strategic Elites in Modern Society”, New York 1963. The term functional elite is insofar relevant as the “validators” and other actors also take part in the discourse of the policy-community.
 Sabatier, Paul, A., Jenkins-Smith, Hank, C. (eds.): “Policy Change and Learning: An Advocacy Coalition Approach”, Westview Press, Boulder, 1993.
 Gramsci Antonio – 2001: Quaderni del carcere, Vol. 1-4, Edizione critica dell’Istituto
Gramsci, a cura di Valentino Gerratana, Torino: Einaudi. Gramsci here is only the godfather of the author’s own adaptation of this theory of hegemony.
 See: Kerchner, Brigitte / Schneider, Silke (eds): “Focault: Diskursanalyse der Politik – Eine Einführung“, Berlin 2006, for a general orientation.
 The consolidation began with the first government led by Hjalmar Branting in 1920 so that the sap (Socialdemokratiska Arbetarepartiet) was able to hold its grip on the government until 2006 with only two exceptions in 1976-1982 and 1991-1994. The Social Democrats gained a full-fledged hegemony on Swedish society with the typical constellation of forming minority governments with the changing support from the Communists, the Greens and the Center-party to prevent liberal or conservative administrations. See: Aylott, Nicholas: ”Swedish Social Democracy and European Integration – The People’s Home on the Market”, Aldershot 1999, Mattson, Ingvar / Petersson, Olof (eds): ”Svensk författningspolitik”, Stockholm 2003 and Svenska Institutet (SI): “History of Sweden“, in: Facts about Sweden, Stockholm 2004.
This influence resulted in the creation of the, in the words of the sociologist Hättich, (Hättich, Manfred: „Theorie der politischen Ordnung“ in: Lehrbuch de Politikwissenschaft, 3 Bde., Bd.2, Mainz 1969.) of the “total” character of the Swedish society with similarities of its concept of the welfare state (the so called “folkhem”) with the National socialist “Volksgemeinschaft” caused by its common ideological roots. Even to try to sketch out some consequences of these ideological parallels and Sweden’s role in the Second World War would be more than sufficient for another thesis. See: Studies by the H-Soz-u-Kult Berlin like Stråth, Bo: ”Die kulturelle Konstruktion von Gemeinschaften im Modernisierungsprozeß: Schweden und Deutschland im Vergleich” Forschungsprojekt, Berlin und Florenz 1997, see: http://www2.hu-berlin.de/gemenskap/inhalt/publikationen/arbeitspapiere/ahe_1b.htmll.
 For the „swedish model“ see: Agius, Christine: “The social construction of Swedish neutrality – Challenges to Swedish identity and sovereignty”, Manchester 2005, Ahlin, Per: ”Det heliga utanförskapet – Sverige som åskådare och aktör i Europa och i Världen”, Stockholm 2000, Dahl, Ann-Sofie: “Den moraliska stormakten”, Stockholm 1991, Nilsson, Ann-Sofie: “Den moraliska stormakten: En studie av socialdemokratins internationella aktivism”, Stockholm 1991, Ottosson, Sten: ”Svensk självbild under det kalla kriget: En studie av stats- och utrikesministrarnas bild av Sverige 1950 – 1989”, Stockholm 2003 and Ottosson, Sten: ”Den (o)moraliska neutraliteten”, Stockholm 2000.
 The most important period was that of the conservative government under premier-minister Carl Bildt, but also some episodes under sap leadership are different from usual foreign-policy behavior in line with the social democratic model; see also: Premier-minister Persson’s statement: “Baltikums sak är vår!” “The Baltic case is ours!” (translation by the author) or his populist metaphor of the three Baltic States “sailing together” into European waters under the lead and guard of their Swedish patron, which gives an indication of the sap’s confusion, the great power romantic of its leadership and the disappointment over the rejection of Sweden’s “third=social-democratic” path to development and prosperity by the Balts. See: Freden, Lars Peter: ”Ǻterkomster: Svensk säkerhetspolitik och de baltiska ländernas första ǻr i självständighet 1991-1994”, Atlantis, Stockholm 2006 and Gebhard, Carmen: ” Neutralität und Europäische Integration. Österreich und Schweden im sicherheitspolitischen Vergleich.“, Walter Feichtinger (ed.): Schriftenreihe der Landesverteidigungsakademie, Wien, 9/2005.
 See for the media-coverage: Pentilla, Risto E.J.: ”Finland and Sweden wait for the Baltic States”, in: The International Herald Tribune, Friday, January 25th 2002, also: Dagens Nyhter (DN), den 22. februari, 1998, DN, den 7. februari 2000, DN den 23. april 2006, Göteborgs Posten, den 22. september 2003 and Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) den 15. december 2000 and den 27 april 2006.
 The Swedish position, represented for the most part by a formal policy-community, was directed towards other political entities, mostly states, but as this policy reflects a time of transition which manifests itself in the ongoing erosion of the foreign-relations-monopoly of the state and the parallel establishment of a multilayered system of policy-formulation the array of actors involved included besides the traditional state-bureaucracies, also relevant local as well as regional and even civil-society and global actors. See: Kuisma, Mikko: “Social Democratic internationalism and the welfare state after the “golden age”, special issue on Nordic internationalism in: Cooperation and Conflict volume 42(1) March 2007, p.7
 Waever, Ole: “Nordic Nostalgia: Northern Europe after the Cold War“, in: International Affairs, volume 1, 1992, p.77-102.
 Williams, Leena-Kaarina: “The Baltic Sea Region: Forms and Functions of Regional Co-operation”, Berlin 2000, p. 1-28. and Stålvant, Carl-Einar: ”The Northern Dimension. A Policy in Need of an Institution” in: Stålvant, Carl-Einar: “Baltic Sea Co-operation: Moving forward?” in: Baltinfo 28, Berlin, März 2000.
 This means the bilateral, the multilateral as well as regional and local level, which constitute the net of interdependent relations with the overall Baltic Sea and Northeastern European Cooperation.
 Like environmental, economic, energy, labor market, health, education, cultural etc. policies.
 Faupel, Klaus: "Zum Stellenwert der Macht in der internationalen Politik: Eine systematische Übersicht über den Objektbereich," in: Peter R Weilemann, Hanns Jürgen Küsters, Günter Buchstab (Hrsg.), „Macht und Zeitkritik: Festschrift für Hans-Peter Schwarz zum 65.Geburtstag“ (Studien zur Politik, Bd. 34), Paderborn 1999, 477-492.
 Freydag, Nina: “Baltikum: Estland, Lettland,Litauen” in: GeoSpezial, Nr.4 August/September 2007, p.6, 8.
 Both Lithuanians and Latvians are part of the rest of a family of peoples living at the shores of the Baltic Sea, which settled from the Urals to the Baltic Sea prior to Slavic assimilation. Other famous representatives were the Livonians, the Kurians and the Pruzzians. See Lieven, Anatol: “The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence”, (New Haven-London 2005), p. 38-42.
 Freydag, Nina: “Baltikum: Estland, Lettland, Litauen” in: GeoSpezial, Nr.4 August/September 2007, p.125-129. The Lithuanians were the only Baltic people who had been treated as equals since the late Middle Ages, having successfully resisted the attempts of German crusaders’ conquest, and therefore retained their own statehood,. See also Lieven, Anatol: “The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence”, (New Haven-London 2005), p. 46-49.
 Williams, Leena-Kaarina: “The Baltic Sea Region: Forms and Functions of Regional Co-operation”, Berlin 2000, Stålvant, Carl-Einar: ”The Northern Dimension. A Policy in Need of an Institution” in: Stålvant, Carl-Einar: “Baltic Sea Co-operation: Moving forward?” in: Baltinfo 28, Berlin, März 2000. , Waever, Ole: “The Baltic Sea: A Region after Post-Modernity?”, in: Pertti Joenniemi (ed.): “Neo-Nationalism or Regionality. The Restructuring of Political Space around the Baltic Rim”, in: Nord REFO (1997:5). Stockholm 1997, p.293ff
 Who saw itself, like the Polish, the Hungarian, etc. nobility, as the actual nation.
 Even together they do not reach the size of Sweden with its 8.9 million inhabitants.
 In Lithuania 52 inhabitants per km², in Latvia 35 inhabitants per km² and in Estonia only 30 per km²; see: Freydag, Nina: “Baltikum: Estland, Lettland,Litauen” in: GeoSpezial, Nr.4 August/September 2007, they are not interesting as a market as such, but as rather rich for post-Soviet economies. See: Koll, Anu Mai: “Marginal Markets and Friendly Peoples. Nordic-Baltic Relations in the Twentieth Century” in: Hovi, Kalervo, “Relations between the Nordic Countries and the Baltic Nations in the XX Century”, University of Turku, Turku 1998, p.70-78.
 Waever, Ole: “Nordic Nostalgia: Northern Europe after the Cold War“, in: International Affairs, 1992, p.90.
 Lieven, Anatol: “The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence”, (New Haven-London 2005), p. 23.
 Lieven, Anatol: “The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence”, (New Haven-London 2005), p. 24.
 Joenniemi, Pertti / Vares Peeter (eds): “New Actors on the International Arena: The Foreign Policies of the Baltic Countries”, Tampere 1993.
 Lieven writes that especially the strong conservative and nationalistic elements (originated mostly from the Sajudis-movement and from its ideological father Vytautas Landsbergis) in Lithuanian society after 1991 wish to return into a Europe of nation-states like that of the interwar years and reject most of the characteristics of a post-national and liberal, open society. Lieven, Anatol: “The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence”, (New Haven-London 2005), p. 118.
 Küng, Andres: “Sverige och Estland – Äntligen goda grannar?”, Göteborg 1991.
 Lehti, Marko: “Baltoscandia as a National Construction” in: Hovi, Kalervo, “Relations between the Nordic Countries and the Baltic Nations in the XX Century”, University of Turku, Turku 1998, pp.22.
 Stålvant, Carl-Einar: “Sweden and a borderless Baltic Sea”, in: http://www.sweden.se/templates/cs/Article_8667.aspx, April 30th, 2004, Swedish Institute (SI), Stockholm 2004.
 Waever, Ole: “Nordic Nostalgia: Northern Europe after the Cold War“, in: International Affairs, 1992, p.97.
 Germany was almost entirely preoccupied with its own reunification.
 See Stålvant, Carl-Einar: ”The Northern Dimension. A Policy in Need of an Institution” in: Stålvant, Carl-Einar: “Baltic Sea Co-operation: Moving forward?” in: Baltinfo 28, Berlin, März 2000, pp.6 and Williams, Leena-Kaarina: “The Baltic Sea Region: Forms and Functions of Regional Co-operation”, Berlin 2000, p. 12.
 In its intergovernmental form, the Baltic Sea Cooperation might have ended after 2004 with the only limitation that the region-building-process might continue further under the umbrella of the Nordic Dimension of the European Union. See: Waever, Ole: “The Baltic Sea: A Region after Post-Modernity?”, in: Pertti Joenniemi (ed.): “Neo-Nationalism or Regionality. The Restructuring of Political Space around the Baltic Rim”, in: Nord REFO (1997:5). Stockholm 1997, p.293ff.
 See: Antrag im deutschen Bundestag. Drucksache 14/3293, 14. Wahlperiode, 09.05.2000, Initiative zur Stärkung der Ostseeregion. See website: http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/14/032/1403293.pdf.
 See: Williams, Leena-Kaarina: “The Baltic Sea Region: Forms and Functions of Regional Co-operation”, Berlin 2000, p. 8 and Süddeutsche Zeitung: “Schröder: Ostseeraum wichtiger als die USA.” 14 April 2000.
 According to Rosenau’s term “fragmegration”. See: See: Rosenau, James N.: “Turbulence in World Politics: A Theory of Change and Continuity”, Princeton University Press 1990 and Rosenau, James N.: “Distant Proximities: Dynamics beyond Globalization”, Princeton University Press 2003.
 See: Williams, Leena-Kaarina: “The Baltic Sea Region: Forms and Functions of Regional Co-operation”, Berlin 2000, p.3.
 See: Williams, Leena-Kaarina: “The Baltic Sea Region: Forms and Functions of Regional Co-operation”, Berlin 2000, p.5.
 Stålvant, Carl-Einar: “Baltic Sea Co-operation: Moving forward?” in: Baltinfo 28, Berlin, März 2000, pp.6.
 Waever, Ole: “The Baltic Sea: A Region after Post-Modernity?”, in: Pertti Joenniemi (ed.): “Neo-Nationalism or Regionality. The Restructuring of Political Space around the Baltic Rim”, in: Nord REFO (1997:5). Stockholm 1997, p.298.
 Smith, Michael: “Regions and Regionalism.” In: Brian White, Richard Little, and Michael Smith: Issues in World Politics. Basingstoke 1997.
 See also: Hettne, Björn: “Globalization and the New Regionalism: The Second Great Transformation.” In: Björn Hettne, András Inotai and Osvaldo Sunkel: Globalism and the New Regionalism. Basingstoke 1999.
 Williams, Leena-Kaarina: “The Baltic Sea Region: Forms and Functions of Regional Co-operation”, Berlin 2000.p.4.
 Stubbs, Richard and Geoffrey Underhill (eds.): Political Economy and the Changing Global Order. Basingstoke 1994, p.331–335.
 See: Hettne, Björn: “Globalization and the New Regionalism: The Second Great Transformation.” In: Björn Hettne, András Inotai and Osvaldo Sunkel: Globalism and the New Regionalism. Basingstoke 1999.
 Hettne, Björn and András Inotai: “The New Regionalism: Implications for Global Development and International Security”. Helsinki 1994, p.11.
 Hettne, Björn: “Globalization and the New Regionalism: The Second Great Transformation.” In: Björn Hettne, András Inotai and Osvaldo Sunkel: Globalism and the New Regionalism. Basingstoke 1999, p.10–11.
 See: Smith, Michael: “Regions and Regionalism.” In: Brian White, Richard Little, and Michael Smith: Issues in World Politics. Basingstoke 1997 and Williams, Leena-Kaarina: “The Baltic Sea Region: Forms and Functions of Regional Co-operation”, Berlin 2000, p.5.
 Waever, Ole: “Nordic Nostalgia: Northern Europe after the Cold War“, in: International Affairs, 1992, p.97.
 Lehti, Marko: “Baltoscandia as a National Construction” in: Hovi, Kalervo, “Relations between the Nordic Countries and the Baltic Nations in the XX Century”, University of Turku, Turku 1998, pp.2.
 Only if a political space is constructed, can decision-makers communicate and legitimize their actions.
 Williams, Leena-Kaarina: “The Baltic Sea Region: Forms and Functions of Regional Co-operation”, Berlin 2000, p.7.
 See: Lehti Marko: “Competing or Complementary Images: The North and the Baltic world from the historical perspective” in: Hiski, Haukkala (ed.): Dynamic Aspects of the Northern Dimension”, Turku, 1999, p.32.
 Henningsen, Bernd: “Der ‘neue’ Norden und die Ostseeregion. Anmerkungen zu aktuellen Forschungsdesideraten“, in: Bernd Henningsen and Bo Stråth, Deutschland, Schweden und die Ostseeregion, Nordeuropäische Studien 10, Baden-Baden, 1996, p.153.
 Quoted in Lehti, Marko: “Competing or Complementary Images: The North and the Baltic world from the historical perspective” in: Hiski, Haukkala (ed.): Dynamic Aspects of the Northern Dimension”, Turku, 1999, 32–33.
 Lehti Marko: “Competing or Complementary Images: The North and the Baltic world from the historical perspective” in: Hiski, Haukkala (ed.): Dynamic Aspects of the Northern Dimension”, Turku, 1999, p.34-36.
 See: Henningsen, Bernd: „The Swedish Construction of Nordic Identity” in Øystein Sörensen and Bo Stråth (eds.): “The Cultural Construction of Norden”, Stockholm, 1997, p.94-96.
 See: Joenniemi, Pertti: “Norden as a post-nationalist construction”, in: Joenniemi, Pertti (ed): Neo-Nationalism or Regionality – The Restructuring of Political Space Around the Baltic Sea Rim, Nord REFO !1997:5), Stockholm, 1997 and Williams, Leena-Kaarina: “The Baltic Sea Region: Forms and Functions of Regional Co-operation”, Berlin 2000, p.7.
 Lehti, Marko: “Baltoscandia as a National Construction” in: Hovi, Kalervo, “Relations between the Nordic Countries and the Baltic Nations in the XX Century”, University of Turku, Turku 1998, pp.48-52.
 Neumann, Iver B.: “A region-building approach to Northern Europe”, in: Review of International Studies, vol. 20. Cambridge 1994, p. 58.
 Lehti, Marko: “Baltoscandia as a National Construction” in: Hovi, Kalervo, “Relations between the Nordic Countries and the Baltic Nations in the XX Century”, University of Turku, Turku 1998, pp.49.
 As will be shown there are a couple of initiatives in the northern parts of the new North of intergovernmental cooperation.
 Waever, Ole: “The Baltic Sea: A Region after Post-Modernity?”, in: Pertti Joenniemi (ed.): “Neo-Nationalism or Regionality. The Restructuring of Political Space around the Baltic Rim”, in: Nord REFO (1997:5). Stockholm 1997, p.295; trans-regions cross borders but are made up of non-states as well as state actors and possibly have borders that don’t coincide with state boundaries (e.g., the Baltic Sea Region which includes only parts of Russia, Germany and Poland) and basically take a network form.
 Lehti, Marko: “Baltoscandia as a National Construction” in: Hovi, Kalervo, “Relations between the Nordic Countries and the Baltic Nations in the XX Century”, University of Turku, Turku 1998, p.52.
 Waever, Ole: “Nordic Nostalgia: Northern Europe after the Cold War“, in: International Affairs, 1992, p.9. The Swedish Baltic-Policy stems partly from the dynamics within the Nordic Council.
 Information taken from the website of the Nordic Council: http://norden.org/en/areas-of-co-operation/baltic-sea-region.
 After a Nordic Defense union was not realized, the Nordic Council of Parliamentarians was founded in 1952, in 1971 the Nordic Council of ministers was established, which deepened the intergovernmental cooperation further and finally in 1995 the Nordic Council was adjusted to be the “Nordic voice” in the EU and to coordinate all activities with the neighboring regions such as the Baltic Sea, the Barents and the Arctic Region. See also Williams, Leena-Kaarina: “The Baltic Sea Region: Forms and Functions of Regional Co-operation”, Berlin 2000 p.7. Despite all these initiatives the NC was not able to avoid the significant decline in its relevance as a regional actor.
 The same is true for the Baltic Sea identity as the prerequisite of any effort in region-building and this same identity is also a driving force of the Swedish Baltic-Policy.
 Ruth, Arne: “The second new nation: the mythology of modern Sweden”, Daedalus 113:2 (1984), special issue on “Nordic voices”, pp.53-96.
 Ruth, Arne: “The second new nation: the mythology of modern Sweden”, Daedalus 113:2 (1984), special issue on “Nordic voices”, p. 55.
 Ruth, Arne: “The second new nation: the mythology of modern Sweden”, Daedalus 113:2 (1984), special issue on “Nordic voices”, p. 88, 66.
 Waever, Ole: “Nordic Nostalgia: Northern Europe after the Cold War“, in: International Affairs, 1992, p.101.
 Ruth, Arne: “The second new nation: the mythology of modern Sweden”, Daedalus 113:2 (1984), special issue on “Nordic voices”, p. 67..This view was influenced both by the Social Democrats as well as by protestant culture.
 Waever, Ole: “Nordic Nostalgia: Northern Europe after the Cold War“, in: International Affairs, 1992, p.97.
 Information taken from the NC website: http://www.norden.org/en/areas-of-co-operation/estonia-latvia-and-lithuania/nordic-co-operation.html.
 Lehti, Marko: “Baltoscandia as a National Construction” in: Hovi, Kalervo, “Relations between the Nordic Countries and the Baltic Nations in the XX Century”, University of Turku, Turku 1998, p.23.
 After Lehti other authors like Lieven are more critical towards the Swedish image in the Baltic States especially after 1991.
 Lehti also writes:” If Baltoscandia and the Nordic area were identified with each other, were these two forms of regionality basically similar? What has the relationship of Baltoscandia with the Nordic idea been like? Baltoscandia has also itself changed as a socio-political construction. The first Baltoscandia concept emerged as a Baltic League, which was only a construction of a small political elite, and was a concept the unity of which was produced through state-centric argumentation. It was not seen as a normal alliance, but yet security played an important role in it and national independence was argued as being possible only through such a league. In the 1930’s, Baltoscandia surfaced again as a Baltic Union, and it was more a vision of intellectuals than politicians. The Baltic Union was produced by associations and independent citizens but the state had a crucial role in the rhetoric surrounding it. Baltoscandian citizenship, the idea of a cultural community, was not totally absent in that discourse but still unity was produced mainly by means of the argument that a small nation could retain independence only in unification. The exclusion of the Soviet Union and Germany had a main role in the definition of Baltoscandia.” Lehti, Marko: “Baltoscandia as a National Construction” in: Hovi, Kalervo, “Relations between the Nordic Countries and the Baltic Nations in the XX Century”, University of Turku, Turku 1998, p. 46.
 Lehti, Marko: “Baltoscandia as a National Construction” in: Hovi, Kalervo, “Relations between the Nordic Countries and the Baltic Nations in the XX Century”, University of Turku, Turku 1998, p.46.
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