Nordic, European, or Atlanticist?

Finland’s state identity during the post-Cold War period


  • Iro Särkkä Finnish Institute of International Affairs


State identity, Finland, Nordicity, physical and ontological security


This discussion article explores the interplay of three distinctive but overlapping geographically driven state identities – Nordic, European, and Atlanticist identities in Finland’s official foreign policy discourse during the post-Cold War period (1995–2022). It shows that state identities are used to achieve both physical and ontological security. These geographically defined identities are mutually inclusive and complimentary in character, building on one another. The discussion article argues that even as a member of NATO, Finland should emphasise the Nordic identity, which forms the basis of Finland’s fundamental value-based security community.