Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-559fc8cf4f-dxfhg Total loading time: 0.233 Render date: 2021-02-28T07:32:56.050Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

The Clinton Administration and Africa: A View from Helsinki, Finland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 May 2016

Get access

Extract

Africa occupies a special position in the foreign policies of the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. In spite of their limited capacities, lack of colonial ties with Africa, or any significant economic interests in Africa, the Nordic countries have attained a relatively high profile, especially in Southern Africa. After Finland and Sweden joined the European Union (EU) in 1995, Africa assumed an even greater level of foreign policy significance for the Nordic countries. Most notable in this regard is Finland’s assumption in 1999 of the EU presidency, a position that makes Finland responsible for the negotiations over the continuation of the EU’s Lomé Convention with 71 countries of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. It is in this context that this article assesses Nordic perceptions of the Clinton administration’s foreign policy toward Africa. It is important to note, however, that there is no one monolithic “Nordic perspective.” The opinions and approaches documented in policy papers or informal statements by individual civil servants following African affairs can widely vary. People working with development cooperation, for example, tend to be more recipient-oriented than those looking at Africa from a more general foreign policy point of view. The tradition of outspoken human rights policy still differentiates Norwegian and Swedish approaches from the cautious policy of Finland. Yet behind these different tones, one can distinguish common premises stemming from the many similarities of the Nordic countries and their conscious efforts to generate coherent, coordinated foreign policies toward Africa.

Type
Views from Abroad
Copyright
Copyright © African Studies Association 1998

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

1. The material is collected from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Iceland’s relationships with Africa are more limited, although very much in harmony with the policies of the other Nordic countries. Several Nordic policymakers responsible for African affairs were interviewed for this study during June and July 1998. Because of a desire among the interviewees to remain anonymous, none is referred to by name or position.

2. Hilde Frafjord Johnson, Statement to the Storting on Development Cooperation Policy, May 5, 1998 (http://odin.dep.no/ud/taler/1998/m980505e.html).

3. Ibid.

4. Sweden, “Afrika i forandring, En fornyad svensk Afrikapolitik infor 2000-talet,” Stockholm den, March 5, 1998, Regeringens skrivelse (1997/98), 6.

5. Confidential interview.

6. Confidential interview.

7. Confidential interview.

8. See also Aftonbladet, March 23, 1998; and Aftenposten, March 24, 1998.

9. Confidential interview.

10. Pierre Schori, minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden, “Afrika i forandring. En fornyad svensk Afrikapolitik infor 2000-talet.” inledning i riks-dagsdebatten, May 25, 1998 (http://www.ud.se/pressinfo/taintmi/980525-0.htm).

11. Sweden, “Afrika i forandring,” pp. 31, 99.

12. Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), “Partnership With Africa, Proposals for a New Swedish Policy Towards Sub-Saharan Africa” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1997).

13. Helsingin Sanomat, April 23, 1998.

14. Aftonbladet, June 1, 1998.

15. Sweden, “Afrika i forandring, En fornyad svensk Afrikapolitik infor 2000-talet,” Stockholm den, mars 5, 1998, Regeringens skrivelse (1997/98), 65.

16. See, e.g., Heikki Aittokoski, “Suomen ulkopoliittinen eliitti ymmartaa YK:n paalle,” Helsingin Sanomat, August 13, 1997.

17. The Nordic UN Reform Project, “The United Nations in Development: Strengthening the UN Through Change,” 1996.

18. Ibid., pp. 37, 38.

19. Helga Hernes, “Nordic Perspectives on African Capacity Building.” Paper presented at Multinational Peace Operations: The Evolution of Policy and Practice in Southern Africa (seminar organized by the Institute for Security Studies and the Zimbabwe Staff College, Harare, Zimbabwe, November 5, 1997).

20. Statement by Ambassador Marshall McCallie at an informal meeting hosted by UNDPK, December 5, 1997.

21. Ambassador McCallie stated in a news briefing, July 29, 1997: “We also recognize that many other countries can contribute constructively to this effort, so we are inviting a much broader level of participation. We are really asking other countries to join us in this initiative, both in Africa and outside of Africa.” Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, “Ambassador Marshall F. McCallis & Colonel David E. McCracken Briefing on ACRI” (July 29, 1997).

22. Norwegian address at an informal meeting, December 5, 1997.

23. Finnish address at an informal meeting, December 5, 1997.

24. Danish address at an informal meeting, December 5, 1997.

25. Finnish address at an informal meeting, December 5, 1997.

26. Sweden, “Afrika i forandring.”

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 2 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 28th February 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Clinton Administration and Africa: A View from Helsinki, Finland
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

The Clinton Administration and Africa: A View from Helsinki, Finland
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

The Clinton Administration and Africa: A View from Helsinki, Finland
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *