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Rethinking small state security: Dutch alignment in the 1940s compared to Swedish neutrality
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3515-3237
2018 (English)In: Shaping the International Relations of the Netherlands, 1815–2000: A Small Country on the Global Scene / [ed] Rimko van der Maar, Samuël Kruizinga, Ruud van Dijk, London, New York: Routledge, 2018, p. 117-139Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Using a comparative method, this chapter challenges assumptions about Dutch history and the role of alignment in small state security. It argues that the Dutch road from aloofness to NATO-membership was not primarily about the experience of failed neutrality, or about fear of the Soviet Union or a new war: it was not, as it has often been depicted, a sacrifice of (peace-time) sovereignty for (war-time) security. On the contrary, it claims that the changed course was in fact about retaining sovereignty, not only in wartime but in times of peace. A close comparison with the Swedish case reveals that the Dutch decision to ally was based on the same considerations that caused the Swedish government to opt for nonalignment. Both were motivated by a desire to safeguard regional stability and cooperation in order to maintain margin for manoeuvre in a world where small states were no longer expected to be able to survive independently. In other words, the Dutch policy of alliance was an expression of the same ambition that underpinned a policy of aloofness. While recasting the history of Dutch foreign relations, these results also shed new light on our understanding of small state security choices in general.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, New York: Routledge, 2018. p. 117-139
Series
Routledge Studies in Modern European History
Keywords [en]
small state theory, security policy history, international relations, comparative history, 20th century, Netherlands, Sweden
Keywords [sv]
småstatsteori, säkerhetspolitisk historia, internationella relationer, komparativ historia, 1900-tal, Nederländerna, Sverige
National Category
History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-346996Libris ID: 22539810ISBN: 9780415784535 (print)ISBN: 9781315228440 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-346996DiVA, id: diva2:1192695
Available from: 2018-03-23 Created: 2018-03-23 Last updated: 2018-04-18Bibliographically approved

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Erlandsson, Susanna

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CiteExportLink to record
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