Symposium: British Foreign and Security Policies toward the Nordic Countries after the Second World War

Thursday May 31st the Historical Institute, the Institute for International Affairs and the English-Speaking Union of Iceland hosted a symposium on British foreign and security policies towards the Nordic countries after the second world war.

New documents on British post-war policies were discussed and put in a historical and contemporary context.

PROGRAMME

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SYMPOSIUM British Foreign and Security Policies toward the Nordic Countries after the Second World War

NORDIC HOUSE – 31 MAY 2012
11:30–11:35 Welcome: Dr. Ragnheiður Kristjánsdóttir, Adjunct Lecturer at the Faculty of History and Philosophy, University of Iceland

11:35-12:15 New Documents on British Post-War Policy toward the Nordic Countries: Highlights and Criticisms.

Patrick Salmon, Professor and Chief Historian at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Lecture

Dr. Tony Insall, Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College and Associate  Editor of the Historians at the Foreign Commonwealth Office. Lecture

The editors of a recent volume of documents on British policy towards the Nordic Countries 1944–1951 discuss its context and the topics it covers. They will also highlight points of particular interest and present the latest issue of Scandinavian Journal of History, which contains assessments of the volume by leading Nordic Cold War historians

12:15–12:35
From Self-Interested Idealism to Cold War Realism: British Foreign
Policy and U.S. Post-War Military Interests in Iceland

Valur Ingimundarson, Professor of Contemporary History at the Faculty of History and Philosophy, University of Iceland. Lecture

The presentation focuses on British policies toward Iceland, with special emphasis on the question of U.S. bases and Western military integration,  1945–1951. It details a shift from multilateral aspirations through a UN-mandated security system to a U.S.-led Cold War agenda.

12:35–13:00 From Cold War to the Present: Lessons about Nordic Security and Cooperation?

Alyson Bailes, Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Iceland

In her discussion, Bailes picks out some themes in the history of the early post-war years that are still relevant to Nordic politics – and to UK- Nordic relations – today, including the importance, and limitations, of Nordic cooperation in security and defence.

Slides: From Cold War to the Present

13:00–13:30 Britain and the Nordic Countries: Historical/Contemporary Perspectives

Discussion led by Dr. Ragnheiður Kristjánsdóttir, Adjunct Lecturer at the Faculty of History and Philosophy, University of Iceland