Nordic Cooperation in the Nuclear Safety Sector: High, Low, or Differentiated Integration?

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Nordic Cooperation in the Nuclear Safety Sector: High, Low, or Differentiated Integration?

  • Kjerstin Kjøndal Department of Political Science and Management, University of Agder, Norway

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Abstract:  Nordic cooperation has been depicted as eroding due to the increased importance of EU-related cooperation and integration. However, scholars propose that longstanding Nordic networks, grounded in professions and located in the state administration, may prove to be more robust toward external changes. This article discusses this proposal by looking at Nordic cooperation between the national radiation protection and nuclear safety authorities in Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. The article maps behavioural perceptions of agency staff based on a dataset of 37 interviews to illustrate if the cooperation between the Nordic authorities is characterized by high integration, low integration, or differentiated integration within the nuclear safety sector. The study finds that the cooperation is differentiated between the highly integrated areas of radiation protection and emergency preparedness, and the less integrated areas of nuclear security and safeguards. To account for variation, the data indicates the importance of path dependency and portfolio.

Keywords:  historical institutionalism; integration; Nordic cooperation; nuclear safety; nuclear security; organization theory; radiation protection; safeguards

Published:   3 November 2020


© Kjerstin Kjøndal. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.