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Public defence: Nordic environmental cooperation driven by economic self-interest rather than altruistic environmentalism

Master Melina Antonia Buns at the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History will defend her dissertation Green Internationalists: Nordic Environmental Cooperation, 1967-1988 for the degree of philosophiae doctor (PhD).

Bildet kan inneholde: person, panne, nese, kinn, leppe.

The Nordic countries are generally known for their extensive environmental protection policies and their leading position within international climate policies – an impression that, too, is supported by scholarly research which generally singles out the Nordic countries as environmental frontrunners and role models. According to the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers, this perception is to be explained by the long history of “close co-operation on the environment and climate at both policy and expert levels [which has made] all the difference.”

In her dissertation Green Internationalists, Melina Antonia Buns scrutinizes this history of institutionalised Nordic environmental cooperation, its dynamics and character, and its international entanglements, from its emergence in 1967 to its transition in 1988 amid a globalisation of environmental pollution marked by a growing concern for climate change. With its transnational analytical perspective on Nordic environmental cooperation, the thesis argues that the interests and ulterior motives to this international environmental commitment of the Nordics have not been as ‘green’ as generally claimed, as environmental cooperation initially emerged primarily for reasons of political economy, thus revealing the economic rationales behind Nordic environmental policies.

By analysing the rise of environmental policy within institutionalised Nordic cooperation and the Nordics role within international environmental cooperation as well as by exploring hitherto unknown entanglements of Nordic environmental cooperation at various political levels, the thesis advances the fields of Nordic studies and international environmental history.

The defence will stream live on June 4, 12:30 pm. A link to the livestream will be posted here. 

The defence will be open to a limited audience in the auditorium (max 20 people). Please register to be able to attend. 

Request a digital copy of the dissertation.

Trial lecture

The trial lecture will stream live on June 4, 10:15 am. A link to the livestream will be posted here.

The trial lecture will be open to a limited audience in the auditorium (max 20 people). Please register to be able to attend. 

Designated topic: "The Green Nordics: Images, Imaginings, and Contestations"

Evaluation committee

Professor Norbert Götz, Södertörn University (first opponent)

Professor Finn Arne Jørgensen, University of Stavanger (second opponent)

Professor Eirinn Larsen, University of Oslo (committee administrator)

Chair of the defence

Head of department Jon Vidar Sigurdsson


Associate Professor Sunniva Engh, University of Oslo

Dr. Jan-Henrik Meyer, Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory




Published May 10, 2021 4:04 PM - Last modified May 28, 2021 2:31 PM