Nostalghia: A Nordic International Law

in Nordic Journal of International Law
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Is there a Nordic approach to international law? I argue that a substantive Nordic approach to international law is absent today, and explore why the question of a Nordic international law would emerge today and how the craving for Nordic identity might be overcome. I look into select evidence relating to the use of force, to international recognition and to international humanitarian law to show the material vacuity of contemporary Nordic cooperation in key areas. The epoch of Nordic legal entrepreneurialism taking off during 19th century, Nordic international law is now ending, and non-alignment with it. This brings me to ask how the melancholic longing for a ‘Nordic international law’ might be transgressed. Here, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia of 1983 comes in. It confronts us with the question of what imperatives – legal or other – grow from our melancholia for homelands and persons no longer with us.

Nostalghia: A Nordic International Law

in Nordic Journal of International Law




In the 1990s and the early 2000sthe Nordic Journal of International Law published reports on Nordic state practice in coordination usually authored or co-authored by legal advisers. This laudable form of reporting had to be abandoned by the Nordic Journal of International Law as Nordic foreign offices suggested they lacked the necessary resources to continue it.


J. Drennan‘Who has contributed what in the coalition against the Islamic State’Foreign Policy12 November 2014 online at accessed on 11 August 2016; D. O’Dwyer ‘Finland to Strengthen Training Mission in Iraq’ Defense News 21 April 2016 online at <> accessed on 11 August 2016.

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