Research topic: Foreign policy
Foreign policy is the term used to describe a nations’s bilateral and multilateral relations with the outside world, that is to say its relations with other nations as well as with various kinds of international organisations.
Normally a nation's foreign ministry has overarching responsibility for this policy, but in many cases sectors of foreign policy are dealt with by specialist ministries.
Since the establishment of the medieval Norwegian nation, Norwegian foreign policy has been strongly characterized by its geographic location and the fact that it is surrounded by sea in the north, west and south. The maritime orientation has characterized both Norway’s economic basis and its connections with the outside world: isolation and isolationism on the one hand and international orientation and dependency on the other. After the Second World War, and particularly after the end of the Cold War, Norway has increasingly sought to play an international role in line with Norwegian humanitarian traditions.
A strong commitment to development aid and peace negotiations has characterized policy in recent decades, particularly after the end of the Cold War, at the same time as the alliance policy dating from the end of the 1940s has been maintained.