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The social construction of Swedish neutrality: challenges to Swedish identity and sovereignty

The social construction of Swedish neutrality: challenges to Swedish identity and sovereignty

Agius, Christine, author; Manchester University Press, Publisher

The end of the Cold War and the ‘War on Terror’ has signalled a shift in the security policies of all states. It has also led to the reconsideration of the policy of neutrality, and what being neutral means in the present age. This book examines the conceptualisation of neutrality from the Peloponnesian War to today, uncovering how neutrality has been a neglected and misunderstood subject in International Relations (IR) theory and politics. By rethinking neutrality through constructivism, this book argues that neutrality is intrinsically linked to identity. Using Sweden as a case study, it links identity, sovereignty, internationalism and solidarity to the debates about Swedish neutrality today and how neutrality has been central to Swedish identity and its worldview. It also examines the challenges to Swedish neutrality and neutrality broadly, in terms of European integration, globalisation, the decline of the state and sovereignty, and new threats to security, such as international terrorism, arguing that the norms and values of neutrality can be reworked to contribute to a more cosmopolitan international order

eBook, Paperback, Hardback, Electronic resource, Article, Book. English.
Published Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2013
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Statement of responsibility: Christine Agius
ISBN: 1784990027, 1847791999, 9780719071522, 9781784990022, 9781847791993
Intended audience: Students and academics in IR, security studies, politics.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Note: Description based on print record and e-Publication, viewed on May 22, 2018.
Language note: In English.
Physical Description: 1 online resource (254 pages) : digital file(s).
System: Mode of access: internet via World Wide Web.
System: System requirements: Adobe Acrobat or other PDF reader (latest version recommended), Internet Explorer or other browser (latest version recommended).
Other Number: 10.7765/9781847791993
Series: Manchester Security, Conflict & Peace; New Approaches to Conflict Analysis
Subject: POLITICAL SCIENCE International Relations Diplomacy.; National characteristics, Swedish.; Politics / Comparative Politics.; Politics.; Neutrality Social aspects Sweden.; General, Society & social sciences Comparative politics.; Neutrality Sweden.
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2013. Access may be restricted to users at subscribing institutions.
Series Title: New Approaches to Conflict Analysis (Manchester, England).
Other formats: Also available in print form.


  1. Introduction
  2. 1. Writing neutrality: from the Peloponnesian war to the Cold War
  3. 2. Neutrality ‘is what states make of it’: rethinking neutrality through constructivism
  4. 3. Neutrality as a Social Democratic project: tracing the origins of Swedish neutrality, 1814-1945
  5. 4. Sweden’s post-war neutrality doctrine: active internationalism and ‘credible neutrality’
  6. 5. The crisis in Swedish Social Democracy: paving the path for a new identity
  7. 6. A new Swedish identity? Bildt, Europe and neutrality in the post-Cold War era
  8. 7. Into Europe with the SAP: Sweden as an EU member state
  9. 8. The war on terror and globalisation: implications for neutrality and sovereignty
  10. Conclusion: the failure of neutrality?.