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Neutrality and alignment: Selected aspects of Swedish and Norweigan foreign policies toward the Soviet Union, 1987-1991.

Gunn, Trevor Julien (1992) Neutrality and alignment: Selected aspects of Swedish and Norweigan foreign policies toward the Soviet Union, 1987-1991. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The chief aim of the thesis is to develop a clearer understanding of the factors which affect a state leadership's tendencies to behave in particular ways towards other states. It seeks to compare and contrast the effect of different security policy choices upon the Swedish and Norwegian leaders' attitudes, approach and diplomatic style towards the Soviet Union. The aim is to observe important differences and similarities in the responses to largely equivalent stimuli across a cross-section of issue areas most relevant for the Scandinavians' respective bilateral relationships with the Soviet Union. More precisely, what difference does Sweden's choice to pursue neutrality and Norway's decision to become a member of NATO make in their respective relations to a superpower. Based upon the secondary literature on alliances and neutrality, several working hypotheses which are proposed to affect Sweden's and Norway's relationship with the Soviet Union were generated: most important to a neutral power is that it be seen to pursue a credible policy of indifference in relation to the East-West Cold War; actions which may be interpreted as being partial to either side of East-West conflict will be avoided; as a neutral Sweden must defend its territorial integrity. Finally, Sweden's neutrality can also be promoted through playing the role of impartial mediator in conflict situations, advocating disarmament in international fora, and resorting to international norms and organisations in its relationship with the Soviet Union. NATO member Norway must make sure that it pursues policies which are partial to its alliance members. Much of what Norway does with respect to the Soviet Union is motivated by a desire to demonstrate NATO's credibility as a cohesive, credible deterrent force to the Soviet threat. Here, demonstrations of loyalty to alliance ideals and solidarity with alliance partners are key to understanding why Norway acts as it does in relation to the Soviet Union. Policy co-ordination and consultation between NATO members are important parts of maintaining a cohesive viable deterrent against the Soviet Union. Finally, Norway has shunned arrangements which could result in isolation from fellow NATO members in order to further insure NATO credibility and its position within the NATO organisation. The body of the thesis examines crucial bilateral issues in two time periods: 1947-1949 and 1987-1991. In 1947-1949 the Swedish and Norwegian decisions to participate in the Marshall Plan and general trade questions are discussed. Also examined in this period are both leaderships' reactions to the Communist coups in Eastern Europe, and Norwegian and Swedish interpretations of Finland's destiny. In the period 1987-1991 the Norwegian and Swedish leaderships are contrasted over their handling of the Nordic Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Proposal, border security issues, legal-maritime disputes, the Baltic recognition question, trade, environmental and economic cooperation with the Soviet Union. Finally, Swedish and Norwegian interpretations of the changing Soviet military threat are also compared and contrasted. The thesis concludes that although commitments to neutrality and alignment provide powerful explanations for why Swedish and Norwegian leaders behave in observed ways, they can only provide one such explanation. The hypotheses provided at the outset are, in the main confirmed, and help to illuminate the junctures where neutrality and alignment actually do play important roles in determining Swedish and Norwegian attitudes, diplomatic style and approach toward the Soviet Union.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations, History, Russian and Soviet, Scandinavian Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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