Neutrality as a Foreign Policy Principle: A Historical Evaluation of the Swedish Posture

Ugwukah C. Alexander


The main objective of this essay is to examine, analyse and give an in-depth study of the policy of neutrality as a principle of foreign policy using the Swedish posture as a case study. Essentially, basic clarifications will be made on this principle itself, while attention will be paid to the historical evolution of this policy from the 1820s up till the end of the Second World War in 1945 and thereafter.Basically, Swedish neutrality serves as an important element in the maintenance of European peace and security, for by opting out of alliances generally pre-suggests the outright rejection of war. Reasonably from the foregoing, there is no cause for doubting that Sweden will not live up to its demand and expectation for neutrality in event of a conflict near her. But how realistic this proposition is especially in the contemporary international system is still questionable and rather arduous to achieve. Therefore, in spite of the strict adherence of Sweden to this line of policy for such a long period, this work still pre-supposes that neutrality as a foreign policy goal is not realistic.The prospects however, for this policy demands a new kind of realism and probably even greater insight and understanding into the limitations of this policy. This is because many factors underplay the workability of this principle such as great power policies, the balance of power between belligerents and their will to accept not to intervene in the activities of the neutrals and such other external provocations, which may necessarily bring about conflicts. Taking as a whole, the policy of neutrality continues to remain a subject of concern not only to the realization of Swedish foreign policy goals but to the entire human race as long as conflict situations continue to characterize the very nature of the international system.

Keywords: Neutrality, Sweden, Foreign, Policy.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3178 ISSN (Online)2225-0964

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