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Joenniemi, Pertti
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
DIIS Working Paper 2011:23
Rather than being amiable, the Danish-Swedish relations have more recently turned somewhat contested. Arguments like the other being quite illiberal have frequently been aired in the public debate. The aim of the paper is hence to explored the rift in order to pursue broader questions about the relationship between two neighbouring countries actually quite similar to each other and broadly recognized not only as liberal and democratic, but also seen as inherently peaceful due to their belonging to the rather pacific community of Nordic countries. Does the crux of the issue consist of similarity having turned too intimate and therefore intolerable, or are Denmark and Sweden instead on their way to sliding apart with their previously rather homogeneous nature in decline and the increase in differences then also amounting to discord and distrust? Answers are sought for by probing the debate and more generally by revisiting relevant theorizations, including the traditional ways of accounting for the pacific nature of Nordic commonality. The findings are then placed in a broader IR-perspective as to use of democracy and liberal values in the construction of similarity and difference, i.e. departures crucial in the ordering of political space.
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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