The Peaceful Bombs: An Analysis of the Norwegian Government's Political Communication Regarding Peace And Acts of War From 1900 to 2011

Frida Erichsen Fluge & Tuva Kleveland Spiten

Student thesis: Master thesis


This master thesis aims to investigate the Norwegian government’s political communication regarding the use of warfare and military intervention in the quest for peace. The thesis examines the Norwegian government's self-description as a peace nation in the period 1900- 2001 and their interpretation of their own military efforts from 2001 to 2011. The government argues that their use of military intervention in the 21. century is a part of their efforts as an international peacekeeping nation. One may argue that this is a contradiction and the analytic interest of this thesis is juxtaposition of these arguably conflicting matters, peace and warfare. The theoretical approach of this master thesis is inspired by the work of the German sociologist Niklas Luhmann. Luhmann is the main theoretical approach used in this master thesis and his system-theoretical work creates the foundation from where we conduct our analysis. We examine the historical semantics of peace through 100 years, and how communicative paradoxes emerge as the government communicate their military efforts in Afghanistan and Libya as peaceful. Furthermore, the analysis shows that the communication is characterized by the imposition of several obligations, and that the Norwegian government is a strategic, hybrid communicator with offset in Günther Teubner’s constructive view on communicative paradoxes. We show that the Norwegian government’s political communication is both paradoxal and strategic. We seek to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the contradictions in the Norwegian government’s political communication about the use of military force as a means for peace. Hence, this thesis offers a critical view of the Norwegian government’s communication about the use of military power in foreign policy matters in the 21. century.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages129
SupervisorsErik Caparros Højbjerg