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Ola Tunander (born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1948) is a research professor emeritus at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO, Norway).[1] He worked as a researcher at PRIO in the period 1987-2016. He is the son of Museum Director Ingemar Tunander and his first wife Gunvor (born Lilja). Ola Tunander is married to the Chinese scholar Yao Xiaoling. He has written and edited 12 books and a number of articles on security politics, naval strategy, submarine operations, geopolitics, dual state, psychological operations (PSYOP) and Cold War history. He has initiated east-west dialogue conferences (see below).

Ola Tunander
Ola Tunander.jpg
Born (1948-11-19) November 19, 1948 (age 70)
Stockholm, Sweden
Alma materLinköping University
Scientific career
FieldsInternational relations, peace and conflict studies


Early scholarly careerEdit

After obtaining a Masters in economic history (with human geography and history of science and ideas) at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) in 1981, Tunander wrote for philosophical magazines and in 1985 he published two book volumes in Swedish. In 1987, he wrote a volume on United States Maritime Strategy for the Swedish Defence Research Agency. In 1989, he defended his doctoral dissertation at the Department for Technology and Social Change, Linköping University. While finalizing his doctoral thesis Cold Water Politics (1989) on US Maritime Strategy, technology, and the geopolitics of the North, he received a research position at PRIO in Oslo. In 1989, he was appointed Senior Research Fellow and was given tenure. He lectured at the U.S. Center for Naval Analyses and Naval Postgraduate School. In 1995, he became the head of PRIO's Foreign and Security Policy Program. In 2000, he was appointed research professor.[2]

Dialogue projects and writings on region-building, security and identityEdit

From the early 1990s, Tunander wrote on military strategy, confidence-building measures,[3] region-building[4] and US remaking of world order.[5] He headed a Nordic study group, "A new Europe", from mid-1980s with Ole Wæver, Iver B. Neumann, Sverre Jervell, and Espen Barth Eide. Robert Bathurst (PRIO and U.S. Naval Postgraduate School) and Tunander initiated Norwegian-Russian dialogue seminars in the early 1990s. In 1994, he co-edited a volume on the post-Cold War regional cooperation in Arctic Europe, The Barents Region with contributions by Norwegian and Russian foreign ministers. Tunander wrote contributions about Northern Europe, Nordic Cooperation,[6] and Scandinavism published by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swedish Olof Palme International Center.[7] He contributed to the Russian journal International Affairs. Tunander wrote and edited two Swedish books on power, identity, and territory and co-edited Geopolitics in Post-Wall Europe (1997). Some of these books were on the reading lists for universities and military colleges in Europe and the United States, and a number of these projects were carried out for the Norwegian ministries of defence and foreign affairs.[8] After 2000, he organized Nordic-Chinese dialogue conferences with the Chinese Institute of International Studies and the Nordic peace research and international affairs institutes. He also participated in a Washington dialogue. His new focus on China might be explained by his marriage with Yao Xiaoling, who wrote a doctoral thesis on the Chinese reform policy.[9]

Contributions about geopolitics, dual state, and terrorismEdit

In his Geopolitics in Post-Wall Europe, Tunander emphasized that the state's traditional friend-foe divide had been supplemented by a cosmos-chaos divide that made European states seek centrality rather than territory and in some cases cut off less developed nationalist territories (i.e., the Czech case in 1993). He wrote articles on geopolitics, "amputation of territories", and the geopolitical scholar Rudolf Kjellén for Security Dialogue, Review of International Studies, Cooperation and Conflict, and Geopolitics, as well as for the Italian journal Limes.[10] He argued in articles and in a book, Government of the Shadows (2009),[11] that U.S. hegemonic power divided the single Western state into a "dual state": a regular democratic hierarchy versus a security hierarchy linked to the U.S. He developed the concept of "dual state" as composed by a regular democratic state or "public state"[12] that acts according to the rule of law, and by a covert "deep state" or "security state" able to veto the decisions of the former (Morgenthau)[13] and to "securitize" regular politics by making certain activities an issue of life and death.[14] His concept of the "deep state" was in 2007 brought to the US by Peter Dale Scott, and in 2018 up to one quarter of the Americans thought in terms of a "deep state".[15] Cold War military coups or coup attempts (e.g., in Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, and Spain) were understood in terms of the "veto power" of the "deep state", which "securitized" regular democratic activities by the use of terrorism or what in Italy has been called the "strategy of tension".[16] Tunander quotes his conversation with James Schlesinger, who spoke about a Swedish "dual state": the neutral "Political Sweden" versus the "Military Sweden" that, according to Schlesinger, was "planning to get the USA involved as soon as possible".[17] Tunander quotes U.S. secretaries of defense, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, as saying: when it came to the most sensitive issues, such as the Swedish-U.S. military ties, there was only one rule: "Nothing on paper".[18]

Submarines and PSYOPsEdit

Tunander's study of covert political structures goes back to his experience of high-profile submarine activities in Swedish archipelagos and naval bases in the 1980s. His books from the 1980s accepted the official view. In 1983, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme protested against the "Soviet intrusions". He was forced to cancel his policy and deep-freeze Sweden's diplomatic relations to Moscow.[19] In 1980, 8% of the Swedes viewed the Soviet Union as a direct threat and 33% considered the Soviets as hostile. After a stranded Soviet submarine in 1981 and primarily after a dramatic anti-submarine operation in 1982 with midget submarines inside Swedish naval bases, these figures changed to 42% and 83% respectively,[20] which forced Sweden to deep-freeze its Soviet ties. However, in the 1990s, Tunander was told by U.S. and British officials that these operations were run by the U.S. and the U.K. In 2000, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and former U.K. Navy minister Keith Speed stated on Swedish TV that their subs had operated "regularly" and "frequently" in Swedish waters to test Swedish defenses after navy-to-navy consultations.[21] This information was confirmed by British Chief of Defence Intelligence Air Marshal Sir John Walker.[22] Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Vigleik Eide, and Secretary General of NATO George Robertson added that these were not NATO operations but operations under national command (U.S. and U.K.).[23] This led to a Swedish Government inquiry under Sweden's former Washington Ambassador Rolf Ekéus with Ambassador Mathias Mossberg as Secretary and with Tunander as a civilian expert.[24] Tunander wrote a Swedish book Hårsfjärden (2001), articles for the Swedish Journal of War Sciences, the Zürich-based Parallel History Project,[25] and an English volume for the Frank Cass Naval History Series The Secret War against Sweden: US and British Submarine Deception in the 1980s (2004), which emphasized the submarines' role to change Swedish public opinion and foreign policy. Tunander argued that Soviet submarines might very well have entered Swedish waters, but the more visible operations were most likely PSYOPs decided by a U.S. "deception operation committee" chaired by CIA Director William Casey, and some of them were run by a CIA-Navy liaison office, National Underwater Reconnaissance Office, headed by Secretary of Navy John Lehman.[26]

The reception of the PSYOPs analysisEdit

The Danish Government Inquiry on the Cold War (2005)[27] and the Finnish Cold War History (2006)[28] based their analysis on Tunander's works, which provoked a debate. The author of the Danish inquiry and the authors of the Finnish and Norwegian Cold War histories wrote forewords to Tunander's volume Spelet under ytan (The Game beneath the Surface) for the Swedish Cold War history project (2007). A French-German TV-documentary[29] (by Arte and ZDF, 2005) was largely based on Tunander's work and aired all over Europe.[30] In 2007-2008, Swedish TV aired documentaries based on Tunander's work and The Sunday Times in Britain presented his work. This provoked a controversy. The Royal Swedish Society of Naval Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences organized seminars. Sweden's former chief of defense and former chief of staff wrote articles against Tunander.[31] Tunander was supported by Ambassador Mossberg, the Submarine Inquiry Secretary, who wrote a book I mörka vatten: Hur det svenska folket fördes bakom ljuset i ubåtsfrågan (In Dark Waters: How the Submarines were used to Deceive the Swedish People) (Stockholm, 2009) with a cover text by Ambassador Ekéus. Mossberg, similar to the Danish Government Inquiry and the German TV documentary, stressed Tunander's argument that some operations were very likely U.S. and U.K. PSYOPs. Tunander received similar support from Finnish President Mauno Koivisto, who called the operations "provocations" and recalled Soviet leader Yuri Andropov telling him that the Swedes should sink every intruding submarine, so they could see themselves what turned up.[32] Prime Minister Palme never pointed to the Soviets after his conversation with President Koivisto in August 1983.[33] Tunander was supported by French Naval historian Alexandre Sheldon-Duplaix and former U.S. attaché to Moscow Captain Peter Huchthausen.[34] The Swedish controversy, however, is still ongoing with a volume written by Sweden's former Chief of Defence General Bengt Gustafsson 2010.[35] and with a public debate between general Gustafsson and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt on the one hand and Tunander, Ambassador Mossberg, and Ambassador Ekéus on the other.[36]

Books in EnglishEdit

  • Cold Water Politics: The Maritime Strategy and Geopolitics of the Northern Front (London: Sage, 1989). ISBN 0-8039-8219-4; ISBN 978-0-8039-8219-2.
  • The Barents Region: Regional Cooperation in Arctic Europe, with Olav Schram Stokke eds. (London: SAGE, 1994). ISBN 0-8039-7897-9; ISBN 978-0-8039-7897-3.
  • Geopolitics in Post-Wall Europe: Security, Territory and Identity, with Pavel Baev and Victoria Einagel eds. (London: Sage, 1997). ISBN 0-7619-5549-6; ISBN 978-0-7619-5549-8.
  • European Security Identities: Contested understandings of EU and NATO, with Peter Burgess, eds. (Oslo: PRIO, 2000). ISBN 82-7288-210-8.
  • The Secret War against Sweden: US and British Submarine Deception in the 1980s (London & New York: Frank Cass & Routledge, 2004). ISBN 0-7146-5322-5; ISBN 978-0-7146-5322-8.

Books in Swedish and NorwegianEdit

  • Den Svarta Duvan – Essäer om makt, teknik och historia [The Black Dove – Essays on Power, Technology and History] (Lund: Symposion, 1985). ISBN 91-85040-01-0.
  • På Autobahn mot sekelskiftet [On Autobahn towards the Turn of the Century] (Lund: Symposion, 1985). ISBN 91-7868-016-6.
  • Norden och USAs maritima strategi – En studie av Nordens förändrade strategiska läge [The Nordic Countries and the US Maritime Strategy – A Study of the Changed Strategic Position of the Nordic Area]. 'Försvarets forskningsanstalt [Swedish National Defence Research Institute], Stockholm: FOA Rapport C 10295-1.4, 1987. ISSN 0281-0247.
  • Murar – Essäer om makt, identitet och territorialitet [Walls – Essays on Power, Identity and Territoriality] (Ålborg: Nordic Summer University, 1995). ISBN 87-87564-72-6; ISBN 82-7198-025-4; ISBN 91-88484-10-6; ISBN 9979-837-10-1.
  • Europa och Muren – Om ‘den andre', gränslandet och historiens återkomst i 90-talets Europa [Europe and the Wall – On ‘the Other', the Borderland and the Return of History in Europe of the 1990s], ed. (Ålborg: Nordic Summer University, 1995). ISBN 87-87564-69-6; ISBN 9979 -837-07-1; ISBN 82-7198-023-8; ISBN 91-88484-08-4.
  • Hårsfjärden – Det hemliga ubåtskriget mot Sverige [Hårsfjärden – The Secret Submarine War against Sweden] (Stockholm: Norstedts Förlag, 2001). ISBN 91-1-301038-7.
  • Spelet under ytan – Teknisk bevisning i nationalitesfrågan för ubåtsoperationen mot Sverige 1982, published by the Swedish research program: 'Sverige under kalla kriget' [Sweden during the Cold War], no. 16 (Gothenburg Univ. & Stockholm Univ., 2007). ISSN 1402-5507 (A revised edition was published on the PRIO website in 2009).
  • Libyenkrigets geopolitik - Humanitär intervention eller kolonialkrig? [The geopolitics of the Libyan war - Humanitarian intervention or colonial warfare?] (Lund: Celanders Förlag, 2012). ISBN 978-91-87393-00-6.
  • Libyakrigen - Bruken av retorikk og bedrag for å ødelegge en stat [The Libya War - The Use of Rhetoric and Deception to Destroy a State] (Oslo Sirkel Forlag, 2018). ISBN 978-82-93534-14-3.


  1. ^ Agreement on retirement and future affiliation to PRIO between the director of PRIO and Ola Tunander from 11 November 2015 with supplementary agreement from 8 May 2017.
  2. ^ Staff page at PRIO
  3. ^ O. Tunander, Cold Water Politics: The Maritime Strategy and Geopolitics of the Northern Front (London: Sage, 1989); ‘Four Scenarios for the Norwegian Sea', in Kari Möttölä, ed., The Arctic Challenge – Nordic and Canadian Approaches to Security and Cooperation in an Emerging International Region (Boulder: Westview Press, 1988); "Naval Hierarchies – European ‘Neutralism' and Regional Restraint at Sea", in Sverre Lodgaard, ed., Naval Forces – Arms Control and Confidence-Building (London: Sage, 1990).
  4. ^ O.S. Stokke and O. Tunander eds., The Barents Region: Regional Cooperation in Arctic Europe (London: Sage, 1994); O. Tunander, "Geopolitics of the North, Geopolitik of the Weak – A Post-Cold War Return to Rudolf Kjellén", Cooperation & Conflict, vol. 43, no. 2, June, 2008.
  5. ^ O. Tunander, "Bush's Brave New World: A New World Order - A New Military Strategy", Bulletin of Peace Proposals (later Security Dialogue), vol. 22, no. 4, 1991
  6. ^ Tunander, Ola. "Nordic Cooperation". Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original on 12 March 2005. Retrieved 3 November 2010.
  7. ^ Tunander, "Nordic Cooperation", Odin, (Information from the Government and Ministries, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo 1999); Tunander, "Norway, Sweden and Nordic Cooperation" in Lassi Heininen and Gunnar Lassinantti, eds, The European North – Hard, Soft and Civic Security (Stockholm: The Olof Palme International Center / Arctic Centre, University of Lapland 1999), pp. 39-48; Tunander, "Norway's Post-Cold War Security – Between Friend and Foe, or between Cosmos and Chaos", pp. 48-63 in Anders Orrenius & Lars Truedsson, Visions of European Security Policy – Focal Point Sweden and Northern Europe (Stockholm: The Olof Palme International Center 1996).
  8. ^ Staff page at PRIO
  9. ^ Yao Xiaoling, From Village Election to National Democratisation – An Economic-Political Microcosm Approach to Chinese Transformation. Norwegian School of Management, Oslo 2004.
  10. ^ Tunander, "Swedish-German Geopolitics for a New Century – Rudolf Kjellén's ‘The State as a Living Organism'", Review of International Studies, vol. 27, no. 3, 2001; Tunander, "Swedish Geopolitics: From Rudolf Kjellén to a Swedish ‘Dual State'", Geopolitics, no. 10, autumn, 2005; Tunander, O. Cooperation & Conflict, vol. 43, no. 2, June, 2008; Tunander, "Il ritorno delle ‘geopolitica dei deboli"', Limes – Revista Italiano di Geopolitica (Special Issue: ‘Partita al Polo'), Quaderni Specili no. 3, June, 2008.
  11. ^ Tunander, O. "Democratic State vs. Deep State – Approaching the Dual State of the West", in Eric Wilson, ed., Government of the Shadows: Parapolitics and Criminal Sovereignty, (London: Pluto Press, 2009).
  12. ^ Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 911: Wealth Empire and the Future of America (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007).
  13. ^ Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics in the Twentieth Century, Vol. 1: The Decline of Democratic Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1962).
  14. ^ Ole Wæver, "Securitization and Desecuritization", in On Security, ed. R.D. Lipschutz (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995); Ole Wæver, "European Security Identities 2000", in Burgess and Tunander, 2000.
  15. ^ Scott, 2007; Peter Dale Scott, The American Deep State (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015); Ryan Gingeras, "How the Deep State Came to America: A History", War on the Rocks, 4 February 2019; Monmouth University Poll, National: Public Troubled by "Deep State", 19 March 2018.
  16. ^ Daniele Ganser, NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe (London and New York: Frank Cass, 2005).
  17. ^ Tunander, "The Uneasy Imbrication of Nation-State and NATO: The Case of Sweden", Cooperation & Conflict, vol. 34, no. 2, June, 1999.; see also Tunander "The Informal NATO or NATO als Gemeinschaft – The Case of Sweden", in Burgess and Tunander, European Security Identities – Contested Understandings of the EU and NATO.
  18. ^ Tunander (1999; 2000).
  19. ^ Tunander (1987; 1989; 2004).
  20. ^ Göran Stütz, Opinion 87 – En opinionsundersökning om svenska folkets inställning till några samhälls- och försvarsfrågor hösten 1987. Stockholm: Styrelsen för psykologiskt försvar. December 1987.
  21. ^ Interview with Caspar Weinberger, Striptease, Swedish TV 2, (7 March 2000). A transcript of the interview is published in Tunander (2004). Interview with Keith Speed, Striptease, Swedish TV 2, (11 April 2000).
  22. ^ Associated Press, 8:38 p.m., 7 mars 2000.
  23. ^ See Tunander (2004).
  24. ^ SOU 2001:85. Perspektiv på ubåtsfrågan – Hanteringen av ubåtsfrågan politiskt och militärt. (Stockholm: Statens Offentliga Utredningar, Försvarsdepartementet, 2001).
  25. ^ Tunander "Remarks on US/UK Submarine Deception in Swedish Waters in the 1980s", Parallel History Project on NATO and the Warsaw Pact (PHP website, section Area Studies), 29 July 2004. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-11-14. Retrieved 2011-12-14. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link).
  26. ^ Spelet under ytan [The Game beneath the Surface] (Revised edition 2009), pp. 388-392.; see also Peter Huchthausen and Alexandre Sheldon-Duplaix, Hide and Seek: The Untold Story of Cold War Espionage at Sea (New Jersey: John Wiley, 2009), p. 285.
  27. ^ Danmark under den kolde krig (Copenhagen: DIIS, 2005).
  28. ^ Pekka Visuri, Suomi kylmässä Sodassa (Helsinki: Otava, 2006).
  29. ^ In feindlichen Tiefen
  30. ^ "Watch Videos Online | In feindlichen Tiefen". 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  31. ^ Herman Fältström red. Ubåtsoperationer och kränkningar under det kalla kriget, Försvaret och det kalla kriget (FOKK), nr 15; see debate between Bengt Gustafsson and Ola Tunander in Historisk tidskrift [Swedish History Journal] 2008-2010 and in Forum Navale (Swedish Journal of Naval History), 2009-2010.
  32. ^ Mauno Koivisto, "Ubåtshysterin orsakade mig plåga", Svenska Dagbladet, 3 September 2008..
  33. ^ The first Submarine Commission (SOU 1983:13, April 1983) pointed to the Soviet Union and Prime Minister Palme protested strongly against Moscow. After that, Palme never pointed to any state responsible for the intrusions. He was shot in 1986. The issue of the nationality of the intruding submarines was raised once again in 1987 with the new Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson. Former Chief of Military Intelligence Major General Bengt Wallroth wrote a now declassified report for Carlsson stating that Sweden had no evidence for the nationality of the intruder. The observed midget submarines were not similar to any known Soviet submarines (The Submarine Inquiry Files, 50:3, 2001, The National Archives, Stockholm). In 1995, Carlsson took the initiative to a new Submarine Commission with Wallroth as its secretary, which concluded that the 1983 Commission had never had any evidence to point to the Soviet Union and the new Commission (Ubåtkommissionen, 1995:135) claimed that they had not enough evidence to point to any specific state.
  34. ^ Huchthausen and Sheldon-Duplaix (2009).
  35. ^ Bengt Gustafsson, Sanningen om ubåtsfrågan (The Truth about the Submarines) (Stockholm: Santérus, 2010).
  36. ^ Bloggens namn: *. "Gustafsson övertygar inte om att ubåtarna kom från Sovjet - Artikel av Ola Tunander". Archived from the original on 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2012-04-20. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

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