Northern Europe in terms of critical theory

There is another theory developed by scientists R.Ashley[1] and R.Cox[2] which is critical theory. It denies postulates of political realism arguing that states sooner or later will skip arms and solidarize with each other. Of course, it also can be rebutted in a way that unlikely conflicts disappear, though in my opinion it suits more while describing the phenomenon of particular regional cooperation. Definitely, critical theory can’t be applied to the world in general (researchers Gusak and Ebervain[3] made an analysis of 638 conflicts of the 20th century!). But I believe that critical theory can be applied particular to Northern Europe. It surely may happen that cooperation within this region may prevail violence and conflicts. Already now the situation in Northern Europe is quite sustainable comparing to other examples of regional cooperation. Cooperation here originally is aimed at advancing educational system, solving ecological problems, creating NGOs and IGOs, economic development, not at all it is aimed at state’s role strengthening. Northern Europe cooperation is directed towards new actors of ir (not nation-states!) and here political realism is rebutted again. Turning back to history we may find a pure example of cooperation that took place in Northern Europe particularly. So called, Scandinavian Monetary Union[4] was created in 1875 and existed till 1917. It was supported by an agreement, parties to which were Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Its goal was to trigger issuing of a single currency. It was a great step forward when Central banks began admitting currency and the Union successfully existed till the First World War. Another vivid example of critical theory will be regional organizations such as the Council of Baltic Sea States[5], the Barents Euro-Arctic Council[6], the Arctic Council[7], the Northern Forum[8], the Nordic Council of Ministers[9] which actively work in Northern Europe nowadays.


[1] Ashley R. The poverty of Neorealism// International organizations. Vol.38, №2, 1984, P.225-286.

[2] Cox.R. Social forces, states and world orders: Beyond International relations theory//Millenium: Journal of International Studies.Vol10, №2,, 1981. P.126-155.

[3]See  Lebedeva M. Conflicts political settlement, Moscow, 1999. – p.63.

[4] Butorina O. What is euro?, – М., Interdialect+, 1999. – p.5.

[5] Baltic Sea Region [Electronic resource]//Baltic Sea Region . – Electron. art. –   http://www.eu.baltic.net/,  free. – Screen title. – Eng.lang.

[6] Barents Euro-Arctic Council [Electronic resource] // Barents Euro-Arctic Council. – Electron. Art. –http://www.beac.st/beac/in_English/Barents_Euro-Arctic_Council/Barents_Euro-Arctic_Council.iw3 , free  – Screen title. – Eng. lang.

[7] Arctic Council [Electronic resource]// Arctic Council. – Electron. Art. – www.arctic-council.org ,  free. – Screen title. – Eng.lang.

[8] Northern Forum [Electronic resource]//Northern Forum . – Electron. Art. – www.northernforum.org,  free. – Screen title. – Eng.lang.

[9] Nordic Council of Ministers [Electronic resource] // Nordic Council of Ministers. – Electron. art. –http://www.norden.ru/Article.aspx?id=81&lang=en , free  – Screen title. – Eng. lang.

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