NATO's Nordic Neophytes: How Sweden & Finland's Accession to NATO Alters the Military Balance in Northeast Europe
Sandwiches will be available from 12.40

Does the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO alter the strategic balance in the Baltics? Stockholm and Helsinki’s recent decision to join the alliance has rendered most analyses on this question moot, as extant scholarship has focused on how the two countries could cooperate with NATO outside the alliance. To redress this gap, this paper assesses how Nordic NATO expansion shifts the military balance in northeast Europe by leveraging a mixed-methods approach of campaign models and elite interviews. Our campaign analyses suggest the addition of Sweden and Finland expands NATO force projection capabilities while simultaneously increasing the strain on Russia’s regional air defense network. Interviews allow us to corroborate these findings against the strategic assessments of key NATO and European policymakers, and to probe the extent to which their strategic judgements mirror popular discourse around NATO expansion. Our findings have critical policy and academic implications, suggesting that Swedish and Finnish accession strengthen NATO’s ability to reinforce the Baltics. Consequently, Nordic expansion is expected to reduce the odds of a Russian fait accompli in the region—thereby strengthening deterrence.
Date: 7 March 2023, 13:00 (Tuesday, 8th week, Hilary 2023)
Venue: Manor Road Building, Manor Road OX1 3UQ
Venue Details: Lecture Theatre
Speakers: Julia Carver (University of Oxford), Sam Seitz (University of Oxford)
Organising department: Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR)
Organiser: Changing Character of War Centre (CCW)
Organiser contact email address:
Part of: Changing Character of War (CCW) Seminar Series
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Public
Editor: Elizabeth Robson