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Refusing a second Finlandization

The Drivers and the Impact of Finland
and Sweden’s NATO Membership
on the Arctic Region.

Written by: Irene Patassini
Edited by: James Edward Colombo
Supervised by: Nicola Maria Mossone

Europe is again amidst a security crisis, the roots of which go far beyond the unsolved issues with post-Soviet Russia and
NATO enlargement towards the East of Europe. The current invasion of Ukraine shows that two opposing international
concepts are on the battleground. On the one side, there is a vision that officially supports the right of non-interference
in a multipolar world whilst, in reality, abusing sovereign power, imposing it on other nations and dividing the world
into areas of one-dominant country influence. On the other side, there is an international concept based on the willingness of populations that claim the right to national self-determination as a core value based on democracy. Considering
the price at stake in this fight is necessary to comprehend the different moves the stakeholders decide to play in the
international scenario, and analysing the rationale behind the decisions made by parties is fundamental to predict future

The goal of this research is not to provide precise predictions of future developments, but instead to attempt
to investigate the reasons that led two of the most prominent European neutral nations – Sweden and Finland – to take
sides in the current conflict between the two contrasting visions of the international order joining the Atlantic Alliance.
The paper is therefore relevant because it uses a historical analysis of Finland and Sweden, looking at the lessons learnt
from past experiences to determine the present-day challenges that Sweden and Finland face due to their geopolitical
position in the Arctic region. In doing so, this paper aims to understand the past, present and future international arrangements involving the Arctic as the next battlefield where the two contrasting international order visions will collide