This article examines the emergence and transformation of Norway’s peace engagement in the context of changing international relations. Focusing on foreign policy discourses and practices, the article portrays peace engagement as a value-based effort to support resolution of distant intrastate conflicts, and a strategy to promote Norway’s interests and influence in international relations. The article also argues that changing international politics after the turn of the century has challenged and reoriented Norway’s peace engagement in a more realist direction. Foreign policy discourses and practices are increasingly based on a broad notion of interests that also include ideals of peace, democracy and development. This means that peace engagement can support a domestic political consensus on foreign policy, and simultaneously promote Norway’s standing, relevance and influence in international relations. Peace engagement has thus been institutionalized as a foreign policy that promotes peace while also addressing the challenges associated with smallness in international relations.