The formative years: Norway as an obsessive status-seeker
Book title: Small States and Status Seeking : Norway's Quest for International Standing
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This chapter shows how status concerns were central to how Norway related to the wider world during the formative nineteenth century: status and identity were inextricably intertwined. It argues that Norwegian politics throughout the nineteenth century were deeply concerned with status and status seeking. When Norwegians started discussing foreign politics and foreign policy, it was in terms of peace, prosperity and status, with the people closely linked to all these phenomena. The many active NGOs as well as the constant references to duties and a Norwegian mission indicate that this explanation must be taken seriously. Even though the resources spent internally in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been modest, the sheer mass of public attention paid to peace issues has probably made it harder to discuss other matters in Norwegian foreign policy. Various Norwegian politicians have noted that peace activism has given them better access to great-power decision-makers.