The year 2025 will mark the 30th anniversary of Finland and Sweden joining the European
Union, and Norway opting out. The post-Cold War geopolitical changes triggered and
enabled the political and economic change in Scandinavia. Along with many long-term
effects, the change affected the experienced and perceived identities across the Nordic
societies. The campaigns and public debates that accompanied the EU negotiations and
preceded the EU referenda in the Nordic countries (and in Denmark, the referenda on the
Maastricht Treaty in 1992 and 1993) reflected and produced a variety of experiences and
emotions from the dawn of a new era to anxiety, and from hope and pride to fear of losing
out and the desire to defend one’s community against alien influence.
This special issue is dedicated to the comparison of the Nordic experiences of European
integration in the early 1990s. All the three EU debates in Finland, Norway and Sweden had
their unique characteristics, yet all of them involved rather emotional rhetoric and strongly
felt experiences of change that connected the individual and shared identities. Campaigns
for and against joining the EU promoted certain emotions, attitudes and actions, yet at the
same time they responded to the hopes and anxieties from below.
We are particularly interested in exploring the experiences and the politics of emotions in
the EU referenda campaigns and the public discussions, and debates on European and local
identities in the Nordic countries. We welcome abstracts that deal with certain aspects of
the debates or campaigns, Nordic co-operation networks as well as broader analyses of the
1990s European integration in respective societies. We are also interested in exploring the
EU campaigns or parts of them as public performances. Rather than focusing on the
diplomatic history and international relations we encourage the authors to look at the
history of experiences and emotions of (un)joining the EU.
Methodologically we are looking for proposals that address the ‘lived experiences’ of the EU
campaigns. The history of experiences traces the socially shared, culturally rooted and
narrativized meanings of actual events and first-hand experiences. However, we do not
intend to limit our approach solely to experiences and emotions but are open for related
approaches that address the question of European integration and Nordic identities in the
early 1990s. These approaches include conceptual history.
The special issue consists of five research articles and an Introduction by the guest editors.
The volume based on the qualified abstracts is offered to Scandinavian Journal of History.
The published issue will be part of the Academy of Finland project “A Dim Light of Dawn:
Post-Cold War Finnish Experiences between East and West, 1989–1995” (2021–2025),
Tuomas Tepora (PI), Aapo Roselius & Ville Yliaska (Tampere University, Finland). The project
is affiliated with the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences
(HEX) at Tampere University.
The deadline of the call for abstracts is 15 December 2022. Proposals of 500 words and a
one-page CV should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and
firstname.lastname@example.org. The selections are announced by 15 January 2023.
Selected articles should be submitted for editors in the autumn 2023 and the entire issue is
scheduled for peer-review in January 2024.