Norway, the EEA and Neo-liberal globalism

This paper seeks to analyse relations between Norway and the EU in the double framework of globalisation and liberalisation. As argued in the paper, the EU itself as well as Norway's participation through the EEA may be seen as a promotion of as well as a defence against liberalist, globalising forces. The paper attempts to account for Norwegian EU adaptation in the light of its general pattern of globalisation.

ARENA Working Paper 29/2002 (html)

Dag Harald Claes and John Erik Fossum

The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the contested relationship of Norway as a semi-peripheral power with the European Union (EU) as a core regional block. Our analytical challenge derives from the opposing perspectives that can be brought to the problem. On the one hand the EU can be seen as either a promoter of or a bulwark against neo-liberal globalism. For its part, Norway's being party to the agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) can be presented either as an arrangement necessary to retain or as an emasculation of national sovereignty (Andersen 2000). We first present an historical outline of Norway's foreign economic relations since independence in 1905 in order to answer the question why Norway adapted to the EU. We then discuss two mechanisms of adjustment, i.e. how Norway adapted to the EU’s legal obligations and incentives for change -- and address its normative, institutional, and policy consequences. Finally, we ask to what extent Norway's adaptation to the EU was consistent with or in opposition to its economy's and society's general pattern of globalisation.

Tags: liberalization, globalization, EEA-agreement, governance
Published Nov. 9, 2010 10:52 AM