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‘The Allied Partner’: Sweden and NATO Through the Realist–Idealist Lens

  • Magnus Petersson
Chapter
Part of the New Security Challenges book series (NSECH)

Abstract

During the Cold War, Sweden was secretly integrated in Western defence planning. Since then, Sweden has become one of NATO’s most eager partners, cooperating with the organisation to such a large extent that it is informally referred to as NATO’s ‘allied partner’ or ‘partner number one’. Sweden has contributed greatly to all major NATO operations (Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Libya), even more so than many NATO members, and during the 2014 NATO summit in Wales signed an agreement on ‘host nation support’ and received special partner (‘gold card’) status within NATO. Despite this, NATO membership is not politically realistic. The reason is a deeply rooted realist scepticism among the Swedish people against joining military alliances combined with a neutralist, idealist identity.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author wishes to thank Claes Arvidsson, Andrew Cottey, Ann-Sofie Dahl, Robert Dalsjö, Mikael Holmström, Mike Winnerstig and Jan Ångström for excellent comments on earlier drafts of this chapter.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magnus Petersson
    • 1
  1. 1.Norwegian Institute for Defence StudiesOsloNorway

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