AbstractsPolitical Science

Could less be more? : small state influence on European Foreign Policies

by L'Orange, Sara

Institution: University of Oslo
Year: 1000
Keywords: VDP::240
Record ID: 1291449
Full text PDF: https://www.duo.uio.no/handle/10852/14550


In this thesis I have found that Sweden has had influence on the Euro-Med Partnership. Size, side payments, or threats to veto or form alternative alliances can not explain the how influence was possible. Instead, Sweden s reputation for value-added foreign policies and lack of colonial past seems to have given them a status that facilitates influence both in relation to EU states and the partner states on the other shore of the Mediterranean. In chapter one, I presented a matrix that could help me make Swedish National Interests in the Mediterranean operative. It was based on Bicci (2003) and focused on the aims of National Interests according to whether they were broad or specific in their formulations and materialistic or symbolic in their expected returns. I also presented a matrix for making the notion influence operative. This was based on Romsloe (2004) and focused on whether Sweden had influenced the contextual or the institutional design of the partnership, and whether this was done in an active/offensive or passive/defensive way. In chapter two, I discussed two theories on influence in international cooperation, the Intergovernmental and the Deliberative approach. I argued that the preconditions for argumentative behaviour might be present in the Euro-Med Partnership, as I look at the policy-making on the European side of it. I also gave a presentation of how I have worked to ensure the reliability and validity of the thesis. I have done this for example by triangulating sources, through direct interviews with a combination of open and semi-structured questions, documents and secondary literature, and by focusing on the validity of the operated notions. I also discussed the impact of choosing a case study as design for my study. In chapter three, I classified Swedish National Interests in the Mediterranean. There were six preferred policy areas, where two were defined in exclusively broad terms and four in a mixture of broad and specific terms. The expected returns of the policies were all mainly focusing on material returns: Increased security, justice and issues connected to being a member of the EU. Security was causally linked to environmental factors, increased democracy and diminishing the gap between the shores in terms of life standard. Free trade and dialogue were the two main policy areas that were expected to have an impact on this. The focus on justice showed a prolongation of traditional Swedish foreign policy. It focused on the need for justice between the people on the two shores, between the states, especially in relation to free trade and the inclusion of agricultural products in the free trade agreements, and on justice for people within their own societies. Even justice had a connection to security, as the injustice was seen to contribute to diminishing security. Even here, free trade and dialogue was seen as among the most contributing factors. The issues connected to being a EU member focused on the need to apply Swedish expertise and knowledge on the EU level and on a feeling of…