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Norway’s strategic dependencies in global supply chain networks

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Economic interdependence and global supply chains are being investigated anew. For a long time, a belief in the ability of growing economic ties to foster cooperation, dampen conflict, and enhance prosperity was predominant in academic and political thinking alike. However, these assumptions have recently proven to be half-truths at best. Rather than dampen conflict, the asymmetries of global supply chains have turned them into coercive tools for the powerful to wield against the powerless. Through sanctions and export controls, states controlling vital chokepoints in global economic networks can cause harm in targeted states, and through controlling the nodes of information highways, intelligence agencies can gain access to sensitive information by leveraging the key position of their domestic companies. For states with small, open economies, this development poses a thorny problem: the toolbox for realigning global supply chains is limited, but reliance on supply chains beyond national control is extensive.

The problem is not limited to being in a position of dependence, however. For smaller states, being in control over global assets, or being a key provider of a product or resource others depend on can be a double-edged sword. As economic coercion becomes more widely deployed, the impetus for protecting and securing assets increases, and the risk that they might drag smaller states into geopolitical contests grows. Addressing these concerns, it is vital to develop tools, frameworks, and methodologies for assessing supply chains from a national perspective, with a focus on how economic interdependence might introduce geopolitical risks. Against this background, this report builds on recent theoretical and methodological developments for analyzing global supply chains in light of their potential for geopolitical weaponization. More precisely, it will study Norway’s position in global value chains by combining recent methodological developments on the network analysis of supply chains and recent analysis of country-level aggregated analysis of supply dependencies. This allows for a study of supply chains as networks of economic relations, in which the position of different national economies contains both strategic capacities, or assets, by being central suppliers on which other countries depend, and vulnerabilities, by depending heavily on other countries. The report thus uses network analysis to identify Norway’s positions and their related strategic vulnerabilities and assets.

Link to the Annex for this report: https://www.nupi.no/publications/cristin-pub/annex-to-the-report-norway-s-strategic-dependencies-in-global-supply-chain-networks
  • Published year: 2024
  • Language: Engelsk
  • Journal: NUPI Report


  • Internasjonal økonomi
  • Økonomisk vekst
  • Handel
  • Internasjonale investeringer
  • Globalisering