A new Swedish Identity? Bildt, Europe and neutrality in the post-Cold War era

Christine Agius

in The Social Construction of Swedish Neutrality

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780719071522
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701263 | DOI:
A new Swedish Identity? Bildt, Europe and neutrality in the post-Cold War era

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At the turn of the 1990s, domestic and external changes would make a decisive impact on Swedish identity and neutrality. Carl Bildt's non-socialist coalition broke the hegemonic position of the Social Democratic Party, instigating a new approach to the Swedish Model, Europe, and neutrality. Bildt wanted to steer Sweden away from the past towards a European identity where neutrality had no place. An equally powerful challenge came from the external realm, where the collapse of bipolarity appeared to make neutrality obsolete. The meaning of security expanded beyond traditional definitions that focused on the state. The 1990s was a significant period for neutrality per se as many neutral states struggled to understand their place in the new post-Cold War world. For Bildt, neutrality was no longer an appropriate way to describe Swedish security policy.

Keywords: Bildt; Post-Cold War; European integration; Security

Chapter.  11307 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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