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In Search of Security After the Collapse of the Soviet Union: Foreign Policy Change in Denmark, Finland and Sweden, 1988-1993
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to explain the evolution of foreign policy in Denmark, Finland and Sweden with regard to Western security cooperation between 1988 and 1993. The study sets out to test two theoretical perspectives on the security cooperation policies of these three small states. The external political perspective is based on the idea that foreign policy is determined by the challenges of a state’s external political environment. The domestic political perspective is based on the idea that phenomena at the domestic level of the state have an impact on how governments cope with external constraints. The primary theoretical ambition is to integrate the findings from these two analyses in order to further an understanding of the mechanisms of foreign policy change in small states.

In order to study the relationship between the environment and foreign policy change, the author applies a perceptual approach, which means that his intention is to explain foreign policy action on the basis of the perceptions actors have of the environment.

The author draws a number of conclusions with regard to the mechanisms of foreign policy change. First, a perceptual approach is needed in order to analyze a state’s specific responses to international political change. Second, domestic factors are not only important for foreign policy in general but also for the evolution of security cooperation policy in small states under conditions of fundamental shift in the international system. Third, it is possible to attribute some degree of relative explanatory power to external factors and to assign a range of different roles to domestic factors. Fourth, governments of Western democratic small states pay relatively equal attention to external and domestic considerations when making their foreign policies. However, depending on the situation, the relative potency of external and domestic factors can vary.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Statsvetenskapliga institutionen , 2008. , 316 p.
Stockholm studies in politics, ISSN 0346-6620 ; 126Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 26Södertörn Political Studies, ISSN 1653-8269 ; 5
Keyword [en]
Denmark, Finland, foreign policy change, perceptions, security cooperation, small states, Sweden
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7484ISBN: 978-91-7155-609-7OAI: diva2:198380
Public defence
2008-06-10, hörsal 9, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 13:00
Available from: 2008-05-19 Created: 2008-04-09Bibliographically approved

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