North by North-West


  • Gunnar Thorvaldsen University of Tromsø



The research project “The Asymmetric Neighbourhood: Norway and Russia 1814–2014” has published two volumes on the history of the relations between Russia and Norway, the first of which, encompassing the period to 1917, is reviewed here. This is a comprehensive publication, covering most aspects of the history of contacts between the two countries. The relations have generally been peaceful, with informal or formal alliances both in the Great Northern War and the Second World War, while boundary issues and questions of sovereignty over Arctic territories have been settled through negotiations. Some of the background for this is the complementary trade relations along the northern coasts, but the relative disinterest in northern areas on the Russian side and common foreign enemies should also be stressed. Much space is naturally devoted to foreign and ethnic politics, but the social history on aspects like Norwegian immigration to the Kola Peninsula may be the highlight of the book, together with the plentiful illustrations. However, quantitative aspects, such as the sizes of different population groups, have been put on the back burner. The editing together of the illustrations and contributions from seventeen authors is exemplary, making the book a delight to read from both aesthetic and scholarly points of view.

Author Biography

Gunnar Thorvaldsen, University of Tromsø

PhD, professor


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How to Cite

Thorvaldsen, G. (2016). North by North-West. Quaestio Rossica, 4(1), 287–292.



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