Since the Second World War, Norway has participated in a significant number of international military operations. This thesis analyzes how Norwegian authorities have legitimized these deployments, and if the nature of the legitimation presented has changed over time.
The approach is a multiple-case study where the Norwegian participations in Congo, Lebanon, Kosovo and Afghanistan are analyzed with the aim to shed light on how these deployments have been legitimized. With a basis in the frameworks provided by realism and value-diplomacy, the analysis looks at the arguments presented by the Norwegian authorities. Has the government used arguments based on Norwegian material and security interests in line with realism, or have the arguments been based in ideals and values connected to value-diplomacy?
As the nature of Norwegian participation in international military operations have changed, especially after the Cold War when focus shifted from UN peacekeeping to more robust peace operations under NATO auspices, the thesis also looks at any eventual changes in the legitimation presented by the Norwegian authorities over the time-span of the cases.
The findings are that Norway has mainly presented the participation in international military operations as a contribution to international peace and security and as an extension of the Norwegian peace tradition. However, after the end of the Cold War there has been a subtle increase in arguments of realism, as the transformation of NATO has made it necessary for Norwegian security interests to participate actively in the alliance operations.