Utenlandske investeringer og andre økonomiske virkemidler - når truer de nasjonal sikkerhet?

FFI-Report 2021

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Report number

20/03149

ISBN

978-82-464-3328-8

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7.2 MB

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Kristin Waage Sverre Nyhus Kvalvik Petter Y. Lindgren
Traditionally, the field of international relations entertained a great division between economics, trade and investments, on the one hand, and military power, security and defense policy, and territorial sovereignty, on the other. Lately, however, the relationship between the economy and national security has gained increased attention. This interest is also seen in policy circles. For instance, in Western countries including Norway, the concern about foreign investments in industries of strategic importance, e.g. telecommunications and IT, has accelerated in recent years. Investments represent one among many economic instruments available for states in their pursuits of strategic and political objectives; the repertoire of economic statecraft also includes trade and taxation policies, loans and aid, currency and expropriation policies and control over labor and migration. Furthermore, economic instruments can be combined with non-economic instruments such as cyber and propaganda operations. The goal of this report is to strengthen the Norwegian government’s understanding of the potential threats and challenges the Norwegian society faces from foreign states’ application of economic instruments, alone or in tandem with non-economic instruments. In this report, we study how the use of economic instruments by other states may threaten Norway’s national security interests. In addition, we integrate the identified security threats into a risk and vulnerability analysis. It is beyond the scope of this report to conduct a full analysis of threats, risks, and vulnerabilities. The purpose of the report is instead to initiate a broader take on how investments and other economic instruments can threaten Norway’s national security, and then to formulate policies that can shape the Norwegian government and other actors’ ability to defend against such threats. One of the primary objectives is to identify areas for future evaluations and research. In international relations, the growing literature on economic statecraft studies states’ use of economic instruments to achieve strategic objectives. In our pursuit of concrete threats and vulnerabilities applicable for a small state like Norway, we identify several serious gaps in this literature. The literature provides us, however, with theories, methods, and empirical applications that we exploit to form a morphological analysis. This analysis allows us to identify and describe security threatening actions that have few or no historical examples in addition to well-known and well-studied actions. We identify six broad categories of actions: facilitate secret attacks and sabotage, state-led influence activity, state-led intelligence activity, circumvent non-proliferation regulations, protect strategic interests, and affect relative power relations. These actions may also be combined with other instruments. Such combinations may provide a deeper understanding of the threats that economic instruments pose to Norway. Threats, values and vulnerabilities are dimensions in a risk and vulnerability analysis. Notwithstanding the potential threats from economic statecraft, we therefore first need to define the critical values the Norwegian society need to protect. This is done through a discussion about fundamental national functions as values of importance for Norway. Second, we present relevant aspects of a vulnerability evaluation, including dependencies between sectors and processes, complexity, the presence of effective barriers and contextual and country-specific factors. The report provides recommendations for further studies within each of the three dimensions in order to reduce existing knowledge gaps in the literature and in policy circles.

About publication

Report number

20/03149

ISBN

978-82-464-3328-8

Format

PDF-document

Size

7.2 MB

Download publication

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