An analysis of alternative roles for the European Union's Nordic Battle Group
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 14:18 authored by Clarissa Rose Hirst
This thesis analyses the regional significance of the Nordic Battle Group (NBG), one of eighteen rapid response forces made operational by the European Union (EU) in 2004. The battle groups have never been deployed, generating a scholarly consensus that since they have not played a concrete military role they are ambiguous or even useless enterprises. Situated within the sub-disciplines of European Politics and Nordic Studies and adopting a constructivist approach, this thesis analyses the different depictions of the NBG in foreign policy documents, speeches and reports of the EU and the NBG's individual participants to address the following question: if the NBG is not functioning militarily, then what significance does it possess? The thesis argues that it allows its participants to show allegiance to the rapid response element of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and the Berlin Plus arrangements while also cultivating regional military cooperation between the Nordic and Baltic States. As a symbolic entity it also reflects changes in the spatial and ideational construction of Norden and the Nordic ‘brand’. The thesis expands the scope of existing literature on the EU’s battle groups and draws on the work of scholars such as Neumann, Wæver and Browning to contribute to a broader understanding of the complex role these military forces play in the regional context.