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How to have your cake and eat it too: Sweden, regional awkwardness, and the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR)
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5867-7629
University of Kent.
2017 (English)In: Journal of Baltic Studies, ISSN 0162-9778, E-ISSN 1751-7877, Vol. 48, no 4, p. 451-464Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Our study draws on an investigation of Sweden’s participation in the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) to ask what it can reveal regarding how ‘awkward’ states in regional integration – those regularly considered by their partners to be beyond the regional mainstream – can secure their preferences nonetheless. We test the independent variables of ‘awkwardness’, by focusing on the ongoing work of officials charged with making the EUSBSR work in practice. We thereby seek to add to existing macro-level analyses of Sweden’s place and position in the European Union that tend to focus on ‘big picture’ matters. Our findings suggest that Swedish actors working within the various agencies and institutions associated with the EUSBSR have been able to offset their country’s perceived awkwardness by developing a reputation for everyday effectiveness and reliability. This leads us to the tentative conclusion that under certain conditions awkward states can offset this status, and, in the words of the everyday metaphor, have their cake and eat it too.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2017. Vol. 48, no 4, p. 451-464
Keywords [en]
Sweden, awkward states, European integration, EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR)
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-66068DOI: 10.1080/01629778.2017.1305194ISI: 000423100000005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-66068DiVA, id: diva2:1179745
Available from: 2018-02-02 Created: 2018-02-02 Last updated: 2018-05-16Bibliographically approved

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Stegmann McCallion, Malin

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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