Status seeking in the friendly Nordic neighborhood

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The article argues that the way status is pursued in social groups in world politics is contingent on the type of social relations that constitute interaction between the members. The Nordic region is a group of countries marked by friendship and trust. Here, the numerous societal linkages between the Nordic countries have made their region into a ‘friendly neighborhood’. This has changed the way that these countries pursue status. To explore this status dynamic, the article draws on a series of interviews with Nordic diplomats and argues that a strong friendship both enables collective status seeking, and constrains individual status seeking. Specifically, turning their social group into a friendly neighborhood allows the Nordic countries to posture as a collective polity and seek status on behalf of it. This grants them more status recognition in world politics. Moreover, friendship does not eliminate status rivalry, but it does turn it into a friendly kind of status competition. Indeed, while the intra-regional intensity of the competition endures, the article finds that the Nordic countries are unlikely to compete in ways that might harm their friendship or their neighborhood
TidsskriftCooperation and Conflict
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)562-579
StatusUdgivet - 1. dec. 2019