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COMPERATIVE POLITICS COUNTRY REPORT

THE KINGDOM OF NORWAY


Anastazija Ristovska. Spring 2011

POLITICAL HISTORY OF NORWAY


1st Century AD - 1905 AD
In the 1st century AD, Norway consisted of a number of small, or so called petty
kingdoms. During the Roman Iron Age in the period 100-400 AD, Northern Europe and the
Scandinavian countries were under the hold of the Roman Empire. After the fall of the
Roman Empire, Northern Europe entered the Age of Migrations, and in particular the
Germanic Iron Age 400-800 AD, a period characterized by Europes transition from Late
Antiquity to the Middle Ages. Spanning from the 8th to 11th century, the Scandinavian
countries entered the Viking Age during which the Vikings explored Europe and the
surrounding seas through trade and warfare, in the process reaching Iceland, Greenland,
Norseland and Anatolia. Up until the 11th century the Norse followed paganism, just like
many of the German tribes did, but by the end of the 11th century Norway has been
Christianized. The Black Death of 1349 decimated Norways population, killing between
50%-60% of its inhabitants, forcing the Kingdom to unite with Denmark and Sweden, under
the crown of the Queen of Denmark, in the Kalmar Union. Norway remained united with
Denmark even after Sweden broke out of the Kalmar Union; this lasted till the early 19th
century when Norway broke from Denmark and was forced to unite with Sweden due to
British-Russian interference. Even though the conversion of Norway to Christianity started in
1000 AD, Norwegians were catholic until after Luthers Reformation. In the mid-16th
century the King of Denmark introduced Protestantism to all the territory under his control,
including Norway, and the Norwegian Church Council officially adopted Lutheranism in
1539. On 7 June 1905 Norway gained peaceful independence from Sweden after holding a
national referendum at which the people demonstrated their preference of monarchy over
republic, and offering the throne of Norway to the Danish Prince Carl, who was unanimously
elected king by the Parliament.
20th Century History
During both World War I and World War II, Norway proclaimed its neutrality,
however in World War II Germany surprise-attacked Norway, establishing German
occupation authority, and recruiting Norwegians to fight in the German army.
Current Regime Structure
After World War II the absolute majority of the parliament was mostly held by the
Labor Party, and the economy focused on state financed industrialization. In 1969 a U.S.
Petroleum company discovered oil west of the shore of Norway, and 4 years later the
Norwegian government founded a State oil company. The countrys petroleum industry made
Norway worlds second-largest gas and third-largest oil exporter, allowing it to accumulate
worlds second largest sovereign wealth fund, valued at $500 billion in 2010 [1]. The
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discovery of oil in a phase where the country was a full-scale democracy did not affect the
democratic regime in a negative way, but rather the regime managed distributing the benefits
from the oil revenues equally over the whole population, rather than just limiting the
resources to a select group of elites as has been the case with most authoritarian oil-rich
regimes [2].
Regime Type
Norway is a constitutional monarchy. Its executive branch is composed of the king as
chief of state, the prime minister as head of government, and the State Council as cabinet.
Parliamentary elections happen every 4 years, in which the leader of the majority party is
appointed prime minister by the Monarch, whereas the throne of Norway is hereditary. The
Cabinet is a formal decision-making body composed of the senior government ministers
appointed by the Prime Minister.
Political Institutions [3]
Chief of State
Even though the Kings duties are mainly representative and ceremonial, he is the most
important figure in maintaining national unity, representing the country abroad, welcoming
foreign officials, presiding over the national assembly and the State Council, as we as being
the Commander-in-Chief of the countrys armed forces, a general in the Army and Air Force,
admiral in the Navy, and the formal head of the Church of Norway.
State Council
The Norwegian Council of State consists of the prime minister and at least seven other
ministers. The current 20 ministers in the Council are the Minister of Education, Local
Government, Foreign Affairs, Defense, Finance, Trade and Industry, Health Care,
Environment, Justice, Research, Culture, Agriculture, Administration, Labor, Transport,
Fisheries, and the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion. The Council meets
every Friday at 11:00am in the Council Chamber at the Royal Palace. The meeting is
presided over by the King.
Parliament [4]
The unicameral parliament with 169 seats is the supreme legislature of Norway. The
parliamentary legislative procedure goes through the five stages of introducing a bill, review
by the standing committee, first reading and debate followed by a vote, second reading,
debate and vote, review by the King in Council, signature by the monarch, countersignature
by the prime minister, and official enactment of the bill as a Norwegian Law. The parliament
became unicameral in 2009; up until then it was bicameral, divided into two chambers, the
Lagting and the Odelsting.
Democratic Equality
Norway maintains a multi-party system with several major political parties, of which
the Norwegian Labor Party has continuously gained a majority of seats in the parliament.
Some of the Parliamentary parties are the Norwegian Labor Party, Progress Party [2],
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Conservative, Socialist Left, Centre, Christian Democratic, and the Liberal Party. The
legislature is elected on a national level by proportional representation in multi-seat
constituencies. Municipal elections are held every four years, in alteration with the
parliamentary elections, where officials are elected to the municipality councils [5].
Judicial System
Norways law system consists of the Supreme Court of 19 permanent judges and a
Chief Justice, city and district courts, conciliation councils as well as appellate courts. Laws
are created in the Parliament, and are enacted and enforced by the Courts of Justice and the
Norwegian Police Service.
International Relations
Norway joined the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC), today
known as the Organization for Cooperation and Development (OECD). In 1949 it became a
founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Norway didnt join the
European Union due to two failed national referendums on joining the EU, nevertheless it is a
founding member of the European Free Trade Area (EFTA).
Demographic Groups
More than 95% of Norways population speaks Norwegian, and Sami is spoken by
less than 5% of the population, mostly in the north by the Sami people. The Sami people as a
minority have been given complete rights in every aspect of the society, as demonstrated by
the fact that Sami people have the right to get education in Sami language and receive
communication from state institutions in various Sami dialects.
Economy and Wealth
Norwegian economic policy has been evaluated by experts as highly dependent on
natural resources since its emergence as a major oil exporter. The high dependence on
petroleum-related industries has reduced the need for skilled labor and diverse new industries
in the private sector, rendering economic growth directly proportional to consumer demand
and resource production capacity due to lack of state income and private sector diversity. The
government has taken steps to diversify the economy by forming centers of expertise to
facilitate small business growth, and has shown aspirations for a high-tech industry,
innovation and technology development.
Political Actors in the Last Decade
The current King of Norway since January 1991 is Harald V, the Crown Prince being
Haakun Magnus. The Royal House is a branch of the Glucksburg princely family originating
from Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The Prime Minister is Jens Stoltenberg. Between 1981
and 1997, governments alternated between minority Labor governments and Conservative
centre-right governments. The current government is a coalition between the Labor Party,
Socialist Left Party, and Centre Party that won the 2005 general elections. The 2001-2005
government was a coalition between the Conservative, Christian Democratic and Liberal
parties with Kjell Magne Bondevik as Prime minister.

International Reports
Norways Freedom House status is one of a free country with political rights and civil
liberties scores of 1. With regards to press freedom, the Freedom House assesses Norway as
free with a score of 10. Norway is the country with highest Human Development Index in the
world, its HDI being 0.938, followed by Australia, New Zealand, the United States and
Ireland. In 2010 Norway produced $88,590 USD GDP per capita.

NORWAY: FREEDOM HOUSE, DEMOCRACY & DICTATORSHIP, AND POLITY


SCORES
Norway is a UN Human Rights Council Member with a Freedom in the World 2010
political rights score of 1 and a civil liberties score of 1 on a scale where a grade of 1 means
most free and a grade of 7 means least free. Norway is therefore considered to be a free
country. It is also part of the UN Community of Democracies (CD) and was a full
Participant to the Fifth Ministerial CD Lisbon Meeting in July 2009 where the impact of the
global economic and financial crisis on democratic governance was discussed. All
Community of Democracies member nations including Norway made commitments aimed at
strengthening democratic development worldwide.
Democracy and Dictatorship data on Norway shows a status quo in the governing of
the democratic regime 1946-2008, and notably democracy is still stable and prospering today
in 2011 with no anticipated risks of being jeopardized anytime in the future. All data
confirming Norways democratic status were constant, and the only changing variables in any
data sets measuring democracy vs. dictatorship indicators, were those very variables
confirming the perceived notion of democracy, i.e.: tenure, or the total number of years the
effective head of government is in power, which in the case of Norway varies between 1 and
8 years, 1 and 2 being rarely occurring scores; and prime minister, a variable that changes
every 3-5 years.
Norway has a 0 change of Polity, Democracy and Autocratic ratings over the last
several years for which data has been recorded, and history shows that this status quo is likely
to had been preserved in previous years and decades as well. The polity score of 10,
democracy score of 10, and autocracy score of 0 (on a scale 0-10 where 10 is most positive),
only confirm the date represented by Freedom House in which Norway is established as a
completely free and democratic country.
Even though considered among the most democratic, if not the most democratic and
free country in the world, it is worth noting that Norways democracy is based on strong
theological principles, which some assess to have been perhaps the very reason for the
countrys high democratic success, as well as its success in the fields of economic and social
welfare, a contentious argument that has been subject to debate. Despite the fact that Norway
is a parliamentary democracy, it has strong theodemocratic constitutional fundaments.
Norway is not a secular system, but rather the Lutheran church is a constitutional church, the
King is considered a holy person and he is simultaneously the president of the Lutheran
church. The Kings also has the right to eliminate up to 50% of the parliamentary
representatives on basis of his personal assessment of whether the representatives live in the
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spirit of Lutheranism and in conformity to Christian values. The Twelfth Article of Norways
constitution stipulates that more than half of the State Council members (the State Council
being composed of the Monarch, the prime minister and at least seven ministers) must be
members of the State Church. Constitutions Second Article guarantees freedom of religion,
at the same time making Evangelical Lutheranism the official religion of Norway. All
citizens practicing this religion are obliged to raise their children in the same Lutheran faith.
Jews are still forbidden from entering government, and this is also the case with any Jesuits
and Catholic Monks.

COUNTRY COMPARISON: NORWAY VS. BRITAIN & FRANCE


The Kingdom of Norway is a constitutional monarchy and a unitary parliamentary
democracy. The monarch is the head of state with reserved powers within the boundaries of
the constitution having mostly ceremonial duties, whereas the effective political power is
exercised by the prime minister who serves as head of government. A constitutional
monarchy differs from an absolute monarchy in a way that an absolute monarchy is not
bound by any constitution and serves as the sole source of concentrated power in the state.
King Harald V is Norways current head of state and Jens Stoltenberg is its prime minister.
As a unitary state Norway is governed as a single unit by the supreme central government,
whereas the administrative subnational two-level units known as counties (sylker) and
municipalities (kommuner) exercise only as much power as the central government delegates.
Norways parliamentary system draws the ministers of the executive branch from the
legislature, making the executive branch accountable to the legislature, as opposed to
presidential systems in which the government as an executive branch exists and presides
separately from the legislature, to which it is not accountable.
In comparison to Norway, France is a unitary semi-presidential republic, a system of
government also known as presidential-parliamentary, or premier-presidential, in which both
the president and the prime minister are equally involved in the administration of the state.
Frances popularly elected head of state is more than a purely ceremonial figurehead,
however, unlike in a presidential system, the head of state is accountable to the legislature.
The current French President is Nicolas Sarkozy and the Prime Minister is Francois Fillon.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, just like The Kingdom of
Norway, is a constitutional monarchy as well as a unitary state governed by a parliamentary
system based on the Westminster system which differs in several ways from Norways
system, but the basic similarities are based on the UK head of state holding nominal
executive power with numerous reserve powers and a main role of a ceremonial figurehead,
and the head of government, or the prime minister, being accountable to the parliament. Even
though named constitutional monarchy, the UK does not have a real constitution, but rather
just a set of commonly held standards and norms.
Norways as well as UKs head of state title is hereditary along family lines. The
legislature in both countries is elected in parliamentary election, making them representative
democracies. The Parliament of Norway is unicameral with a current number of 169
Members of Parliament. The election threshold for gaining a seat in the legislature is 4%. The
prime minister is elected with a confidence vote within the parliament, and is usually the
leader of the party holding the majority of seats. Usually a single party does not have enough
support to form an independent government, and Norway has often been ruled by coalition of
parties and minority governments. The three major political parties are the Norwegian
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Labour, Conservative, and Progress Party, followed by the Socialist Left, Center, Liberal and
Christian Democratic Party. The incumbent Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg is the leader of
the Labour Party, and the government is formed by a coalition between the dominant Labor
Party with the Socialist Left and Centre parties. The social democratic Labor Party has been
the largest party in Parliament for more than 90 years, even though it has always ruled as a
minority government in coalition. Norway has no major cleavages except for the Sami
minority which has full rights within Norwegian democracy; nevertheless it has on a few
occasions sought greater sovereignty, even the right to an independent state. One major
cleavage in the UK is on behalf of the Pro-Belfast Agreement Party which seeks Northern
Irelands unification with the Republic of Ireland. This party refuses to hold any seats in the
Westminster government to avoid taking the pledge of allegiance to the British monarch. The
current monarch of the United Kingdom is Queen Elizabeth II.
Norway, the UK and France are multi-party systems. The Norwegian legislature is
elected on national level, and the Parliament, or Storting members are elected for four-year
terms by proportional representation in multi-seat constituencies. In contract, the UK has a
first-past-the-post electoral system. The two largest UK political parties that tend to dominate
parliament by majority are the Conservative and Labour Parties. Other major UK political
parties that sometimes form coalitions when support for a minority party is needed are the
Liberal Democrats, Scottish and Welsh Nationalist as well as Northern Ireland Parties. The
incumbent prime minister is David Cameron, the leader of the current dominant Conservative
Party.
The major cleavages in the French political system is between the left and right
segments of society, as well as in the issues of assimilation and integration of Frances
minorities, foreign national residents, as well as citizens who have been born in a foreign
state. The dominant left party is the Socialist, followed by the French Communist, The
Greens, and the Left Radical Party. The dominant right Party is the Union for Popular
Movement, followed by the centrist Nouveau Centre.

NORWAY: TOP NEWS IN LAST 35 DAYS (as of March 11, 2011)


Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store has allegedly been involved in secret
talks with Hamas. The opposition parties in the parliament reacted fiercely to the rumors
Store has led secret talks with Khaled Meshaal, the top leader of Hamas. Meshaal confirmed
in front of the cameras he has had several phone conversations with Foreign Minister Store.
Store in response recalled Norways active participation in establishing a unity government of
Fatah and Hamas in 2007. He said his foremost task is to outline that Hamas has to recognize
Israel and relinquish violence in compliance to the agreements. Conservative Party Leader
Erna Solberg directed strong critique at Stre for not complying with Norways official
policy of non-involvement in any direct political contact with Hamas.
Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani promised Norwegian investors full
security as he welcomed the foreign investment in various sectors as part of the governments
policies to boost trade with foreign investors. Prime Minister Raza Gilani said Pakistan would
cooperate on Norwegian Business delegations initiative by also organizing an Investment
Conference on Opportunities in Pakistan in Norway. Pakistani Prime Minister welcomed the
foreign investors extending to them and their investments maximum security in awareness of

the fact that the menace of terrorism could be potentially confronted through economic
development.
The tacit rules of diplomatic immunity, even in cases of violation of domestic laws of
the guest countries, guarantee diplomats freedom from compliance to any laws other than
those of their home country. Parking tickets usually get waived and United Nations diplomats
can park anywhere they want in New York City. Not so with Norwegian diplomats who want
to gentlemanly pay their fines. A top Norwegian diplomat was charged $1,400 for, believe it
or not, water piracy. Sources to the island media say the diplomat hasnt been aware of the
tapping. But this amount of water unintentionally lost due to tapping does not measure up to
the 15 years of water supplies a prominent Sri Lanka businessman obtained by illegally
tapping major water supplies.

DEMOCRATIZATION
Norways democratic history starts as early as 1905 with the dissolution of the
personal union between Norway and Sweden, in which while different states with distinct
boundaries, laws and interests, the two countries were governed by the same monarch. The
parliament of Norway broke away from the Royal House of the Kingdom of Sweden, the
House of Bernadotte in June 1905. The effective dissolution of the United Kingdoms of
Sweden and Norway happened after a year of negotiations with Swedish King Oscar II
abdicating and Prince Carl of Denmark a.k.a. Haakon VII accessing the Norwegian throne on
18 November 1905. From this date on Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a short
period of five-year non-democratic German occupier interruption during World War II.
Even though Norway proclaimed neutrality during World War II, it was invaded by
the German Nazis in April 1940 and remained under occupation for five years. Initially the
German authorities wanted the incumbent government to remain in place, however the
Norwegian parliament would not yield. Therefore the Germans recognized Vidkun Quisling,
a self-nominated prime minister from the Norwegian Nazi Party Nasjonal Samling.
Quislings party remained marginalized, though, since it could not rally popular support.
Those areas which had already come under German control were instead administered by a
council led by Ingolf Elster Christensen, later supplanted by a cabinet formed by
Reichskommissar Josef Terboven. During the five years of occupation the power revolved
among these three authorities. All political parties except for the Nasjonal Samling were
banned in an attempt to enact legislation that promoted Nazi goals. NS leaders were enforced
upon labor unions and were appointed top-down elsewhere. The legitimate king and
government were exiled in London, and during the whole period orchestrated and gave moral
support to the resistant movement. Up to 15,000 Norwegians volunteered in the German
forces, whereas the remnants of the armed forces of Norway that had escaped to Allied
countries continued to fight the Axis powers from their exile locations such as Britain and
Canada. After the end of the occupation in 1945 democracy resumed. Luckily for the traitors
that sided with the German occupiers no extrajudicial killing of the offenders happened and
accused traitors were subject to process trials, after which 12 Germans were executed on the
grounds of crimes against humanity and 25 Norwegians on the grounds of treason and less
than 100 people received life sentences or paid heavy fines.
There are many possible reasons why Norway made its transition towards democracy.
One possible claim worth elaborating upon is the connection between the democracy-friendly
socio-economic conditions existing in Norway at the dawn of the 20th century. Whereas
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many other theories can be proposed, this paper will focus on this particular one for the sake
of brevity.
Maybe the most important precepts adopted by the 1648 Peace of Westphalia was Cuius
region euis religio, that is, whose is the region his is the [right to determine] religion [of that
region]. Therefore the emergence of nation-states, the first move towards modern democratic
society was made by organizing religious distribution. Religion has always been intrinsically
connected to the internal structures of society, and among every democratic and nondemocratic system traced of religious influence in structuring that system can be found,
whether those religious element are actively practiced at present time or not. Norway is a
particularly interesting democratic system if viewed from this perspective. The process of
political socialization of Norway has always been under a strong religious influence with the
Lutheran church exercising strong influence over society. Ever since the time Norway
adopted Christianity as the dominant faith, the overall historical events development was very
connected to the Church and the Christian principles and values the Church endorsed and
promoted. Christianity was introduced to Norway in 994 after two centuries of Viking
rampaging throughout Europe. The next several decades saw a transformation of the
Norwegian Kingdom. In 1397 Norway entered a union with Denmark lasting for four
centuries, followed by a Swedish invasion and the personal union of the United Kingdoms of
Norway and Sweden.
Article 2 of the Norwegian constitution declares the Evangelical-Lutheran religion as
the official public religion of Norway. Citizens that confess the Evangelical-Lutheran faith
are obligated to raise their children in the same faith as well. Article 12 states that more than
half of the State Council members as well as the Monarch have to be members of the State
Church. The King is obligated to confess, practice, develop and protect the EvangelicalLutheran faith at all times. Article 5 defines the King as a holy person that cannot be faulted,
censured or called to account.
The differences in practicing the fundamentalist understanding of religion as in the
case of Islam and Iran for example, are huge. The Iranian regime falls under the category of
totalitarian political systems wherein the theocracy comes from the so called religious
fanaticism as an ideological totalitarian movement. This system should also be distinguished
from the Roman-Catholic Middle Ages dominion from which Europe moved away with the
Peace of Westphalia. In fact, the parts of Europe that moved away from Roman Catholic
dominion have shown greater democratic progress than the ones that didnt, and so did the
countries in Central and South America show a move toward democracy after Vatican
stopped legitimizing the authority of Latin American dictators. Again, the empirical and
statistical evidence and arguments for and against this theory are myriad, and this argument
relies on the theory of providing a homogeneous society with virtually no or very few crosscutting cleavages based on religion and social ideology and smooth political socialization
even among rival parties, that is, since almost every member of society is raised on Protestant
morals and ethics this will lead to an overall preference of capitalism, absence of corruption,
and the adoption of Protestant ethics in most segments of society and government. This
homogeneity proves very valuable when contrasted to societies where there are Sunni-Shiite
religious divisions such as Iraq, Muslim-Orthodox Christian-Catholic cleavages such as in
Bosnia, Muslim-Hindu conflicts in India, Protestant segregation in post-communist orthodox
Christian societies such as Belarus and Russia. Even though Norwegians have the free choice
to be nominally protestant, they are still expected to reflect their faith creed through action,
and therefore the cultural homogeneity provided by the obligation of all families to raise their
children in the Evangelical-Lutheran faith, even though children are free to be religious or
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not, automatically reduces, cleavages of the type of fiscal liberal vs. conservative, socialist vs.
capitalist etc.
Norway is a highly technologically developed country at the very top of the welfare
pyramid. It is the country with Europes second highest GDP per capita after Luxemburg, and
worlds third highest GDP per capita. Norway has the highest Human Development index in
the world for several consecutive years since 2001.
CINEMA: Kommandr Treholt & Ninjatroppen
Kommandr Treholt & Ninjatroppen, directed by Thomas Cappelem Malling, is a
drama comedy in which Commander Arne Treholt and his Ninja Special Forces saving
Norway during the Cold War. The movie has an anti-NATO bias, and in many Norwegian
reviews, the synopsis states: In 1983 the Ninja Force discovers that the sinister NATO force
Stay Behind, who take charge in times of war and emergency, are planning a coup-d'tat in
peacetime. In 1984, the charismatic Norwegian diplomat Arne Treholt is arrested on charges
of spying for the Soviet Union, and is sentenced to twenty years or prison. Trehold wasnt a
spy though; he was rather the leader of the enlightened shadow warriors called the Ninja
Force, Special Forces created by King Olav V. The Ninja Force uncovers a plan by Stay
Behind, a sinister NATO force operating against the Soviet Union, are planning coup-detat
on Norway in peacetime.
This espionage story based on the trial and conviction of a Norwegian politician
during the Cold War is not as nearly as dull as it sounds. Based on the true event of Politician
Arne Treholt being sentenced to twenty years in prison on a conviction of high treason and
espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union and Iraq, the movie turns the event upside down,
idealizing Arne Treholt as a national hero and the head of the very much
imaginary Norwegian Ninja Special Forces, in a fish house punch story combining Star wars,
ninja movies, computer games and spy novels, to form an imaginary world to the ultimate
excitement of a young boys cinema experience. The chief rival of the Norwegian Ninja is
Stay Behind, a shadowy organization funded by NATO and linked to the CIA. The movie
is based on Thomas Cappelem Mallings 2006 book Ninjateknikk II: Usynlinget I strid
1978 (Ninja Technique II: Invisibility in Combat 1978), presented as written and narrated by
Arne Treholt as his secret military manual.
The movie and the book may be a complete new experience to the young boys
fantasy, but to the older generations it brings memories of the Cold War and many other
historical events after World war II, that have in many ways shaped Norwegian culture and
the collective memory of the nation. Even though Norway endorsed neutrality and had the
guarantee of protection by the British, it still became victim to German aggression and
occupation 1940-1945. By the end of the occupation the entire country had been devastated.
Finnmark, the northernmost district, had suffered most under the German employment of
scorched earth policy in their retreatment from the advancing Russians, deliberately burning
and destroying towns and cities on their way out; the Germans had also taken a significant
portion of the Norwegian Gross Domestic Product, greatly damaging the countrys economy.
The plan of rebuilding Norway to its pre-war condition re-bounced the country to an even
higher level of industrial production and gross national product than before WWII. Norway
has followed a steady upward economic and production trend ever since.

UNs first Secretary General, Trygve Lie, was a Norwegian. Apart from neutral
involvements such as the United Nations, the country preferred maintaining a low profile in
international politics, staying as isolated as possible from the political, military and power
polarization in the post-war world. However, the increase in East/West tensions urged
Norway to make an unsuccessful attempt at creating a Nordic Defense Alliance, after which
it joined the European Recovery Plan (Marshall-plan) in 1947 and NATO in 1949. The main
rationale behind joining NATO was the awareness of Norwegian authorities of the
probability that Moscow might launch a local attack on Finnmark or other parts of northern
Norway. Norway was a Border Region during the Cold War, and the long territorial line
between Russia and Norway, and the common Arctic waters they accessed, gave Norway a
great strategic geopolitical Cold War significance. Until Turkey entered NATO in 1952,
Norway was the only NATO member bordering the Soviet Union. During the Cold War
Norway served as an important platform for intelligence, and Norwegian Intelligence
Services made important contributions to the security and strength of NATO in the area.
Norway was an important factor in the U.S. containment policy against the Soviets, as well as
NATOs perimeter strategy of establishing tactical support bases around the Soviets. Massive
fortifications, air fields, harbors, and arsenals were employed in northern Norway by NATO
and through the Military Defense Aid Programme (MDAP) funded by the USA. After the
initial Soviet threat of 1949-52 had passes, Nordic countries deemed that there were no more
serious Soviet expansionist intentions towards the Scandinavian region, and they sought to
normalize relations with the Soviets. The Scandinavian countries in this period attempted
rather successfully to be bridge-builders between the East and the West, working towards
non-proliferation, and expressing neutrality, criticism, and non-partiality towards both sides,
employing a principle of dialogue, especially in behalf of Norway, having a large positive
effect both for Norway and the international community as a whole.
In the last seven years Norwegian spying activity has hit an all-time high since the
end of the Cold War, largely due to the great increase in Norways involvement in
international operations. Norways contribution of Special Forces and its military presence in
Afghanistan, Chad, Somalia, Sudan, Kosovo, Egypt, Congo, Bosnia, and the Middle East, has
created the need for higher level of intelligence, with the most important area of intelligence
gathering efforts remaining Norways north territory that borders Russia, giving NATO the
most significant contribution of high-tech intelligence gathering directed towards Russia.

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References
1.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/no.html
2.
http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/6588
3.
http://www.frp.no/no/Andre_sprak/English/
4.
http://www.domstol.no/default____2916.aspx?epslanguage=EN
5.
http://www.stortinget.no/en/
6. http://www.regjeringen.no/upload/KRD/Kampanjer/valg2007/Brosjyre/Valg07_bokm
%C3%A5l.pdf
http://www.parliament.uk/
http://www.thenation.com/issue/may-18-2009
http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/
http://www.norwaynews.com/en/~view.php?72O3454aNd4839z285Jof844VN2885RE76BG
p353R4I8
http://www.norwaynews.com/en/~view.php?729EnI58dJimc672S60353Fxa484bDVa4544L5
v084hVIr88eTP738
http://www.norwaynews.com/en/~view.php?72Sa954GRb4827z285Dof844OL388bXC76FE
n353KaA8
http://www.tops.lk/article30499-tycoon-nabbed-for-water-piracy.html

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