Columbia International Affairs Online: Books

CIAO DATE: 09/2014

Danish Foreign Policy Yearbook 2014

Nanna Hvidt, Hans Mouritzen (eds.)

August 2014

Danish Institute for International Studies


On the consequences for Denmark’s non-proliferation policy if Greenland exports uranium, future demands on the activism of Danish foreign policy and why we became one of the most generous donors of development aid in the World.

This year’s volume presents the official outline of Denmark’s foreign policy in 2013 by Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen, Permanent Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. For the first time the yearbook also presents an overview of the Danish defence policy and military operations by the Permanent Secretary of State for Defence, Lars Findsen.

Besides that, researchers focus on the following subjects:

• Cindy Vestergaard looks at problems related to extraction and export of uranium, globally as well as nationally. She analyses international rules for extraction and export of uranium, the rationale for abolishing Greenland’s zero tolerance policy in this regard, and the consequences for the nuclear non-proliferation policy of the Danish Kingdom if Greenland becomes an exporter of uranium.

• Danish foreign policy activism remains possible in a changing world order, but only by careful navigation between Western great powers, rising powers and regional organisations. Tonny Brems Knudsen makes this argument focusing on the Danish contributions in Mali and Syria.

• Turning to a historical perspective on Danish foreign policy, Anders Wivel’s thesis is that it is characterized by the pragmatism and activism of the Munch and Hækkerup doctrines, which have allowed very few deviations.

• Finally, Peter Yding Brunbech investigates Danish aid policy 1945-70 and asks the perennial question: why did a small, north-western European country, with little colonial history south of the 60th parallel, become one of the most generous development aid donors in the world? 

The articles are abstracted in English and Danish at the outset of chapter one.

After the articles follows a selection of official documents considered to be characteristic of Danish foreign policy 2013. This is supplemented by some of the most relevant polls on the attitudes of the Danes to key foreign policy questions. Finally, a bibliography offers a limited selection of scholarly books, articles and chapters published in English in 2013 within the fields covered by the yearbook.