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Europeanization of Finnish Foreign and Security Policy: A Rationalist Perspective

Martin Silzer

Studies in Europeanization of foreign and defence policy tend to concentrate on the change in national security identity, using constructivist approaches. Though, there is evidence that in some cases, we observe change in foreign policy, but not in security identity. The case of Finland is one prominent example for this.In the Finnish case, not the vital state interests have been transformed by European influence, but basic and operative ones. This distinction between three types of interests refers to Sabatier's theory on state interests. I argue that we can distinguish between different types of interests: there is no change in vital interests, referring to the mere existence and maintaining state authority. Basic interests tend to change within a longer timeframe, especially due to historical cleavages. Operative interests are even more volatile. They undergo changes under the influence of daily political business.There are consequences for theorizing Europeanization as well: Reuben Wong's Europeanization model can be reformulated in an rationalist way. While I strongly rely on the usual uploading and downloading mechanisms, I argue that cross-loading is more a rationalist part of the mechanism, linking the other two ones.In total, this model could lead to the explanation of the aforementioned research gap and finally to a better understanding of Europeanization mechanisms in foreign policy.My paper will focus on the Finnish national defense strategy as well as to the energy security policy, as not only the traditional military security issues are at stake. We should rather take into account the new developments of a broader security policy approach, including prominently energy security. In comparing these two research fields, applying the reformulated Wong approach, it may be able to achieve new insights into the changing politics of foreign and defence policy.

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