Finland and NATO: Strategic Choices and Identity Conceptions

  • Tuomas Forsberg
Part of the New Security Challenges book series (NSECH)


This chapter explores Finland’s relationship with NATO, analysing the evolution of the relationship since the Cold War, as well as the ongoing political debate over joining the Alliance. It argues that psychological factors, identity issues and domestic politics explain the nature of Finland’s policy towards NATO at least as much as geopolitical determinants and strategic calculations based on national interest. The role of the key outside drivers for change in Finland’s policy towards NATO—Russia, NATO itself and the United States, as well as Sweden—are also assessed. The chapter concludes that despite many changes in Finland’s security environment, NATO membership remains only ‘an option’, since domestic politics, identity conceptions and psychological factors all work in favour of policy continuity.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tuomas Forsberg
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TampereTampereFinland

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