Norwegian Peace Research Institute (PRIO) held a breakfast seminar on "Migration and new foreign policy realities." last Friday.
The seminar was part of the series of seminars on "Norway and the new world map ", which is held concurrently with the six foreign groups in Norway contributing to a publication on global power shifts and Norwegian foreign policy.
Migration and immigration issues have traditionally been domestic affairs, but they are not that simple anymore. As Norwegian citizens with immigrant backgrounds involve in relief, development or armed struggle abroad, they’ll encounter the Norwegian aid and foreign policy. But how does the Norwegian government approach to "new Norwegian we", where several of us have connections to people and places outside the country? These questions were the origin of posts and debate.
A main point of the seminar was that there is a potential to leverage networks, knowledge and expertise in Norwegian foreign policy from the diaspora in Norway. However, there is a wide gap between the aspirations that have been expressed, and the actual use of the diaspora as foreign policy resource.
It was also stressed that there is a need to debate the diaspora regard to foreign policy principle: If Norway is to promote the interests of certain groups because these are precisely represented among Norwegian minorities? Another key question that also came out of the seminar was how our own understanding of Norwegian interests is affected by migration and the emergence of "new Norwegian we."