Peace, Profits and Principles is the catchy alliterative title of a book on Dutch foreign policy by Joris Voorhoeve (1979), one-time parliamentary leader of the VVD (1986–90). Under these three headings he sought to analyse the major traditions of this foreign policy, which he defined as ‘maritime commercialism’ ‘neutralist abstentionism’ and ‘internationalist idealism’. Others have objected to the concept of traditions in this respect, even arguing that the Dutch have insufficient historic sense for traditions. Such authors prefer to speak of tendencies, themes, or constants, and some of them have amended or enlarged Voorhoeve’s list. On closer inspection, however, the themes mentioned by other authors remain closely related to the clusters of attitudes mentioned by Voorhoeve (Heldring, 1978; Rozemond, 1987; Scheffer, 1988). There is also little disagreement concerning the origins of such tendencies or traditions.
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