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Den (o)moraliska neutraliteten: Tre politikers och tre tidningars moraliska värdering av svensk utrikespolitik 1945-1952
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The interest in Swedish foreign policy during the Second World War and the Cold War has been considerable limits of Swedish foreign policy during these periods.

In this dissertation an attempt to do such an analysis is made. The opinions of some politicians and newspaper editors on moral considerations in Swedish foreign policy during 1945-52 and their moral assessment of it are examined. In the book questions concerning the relationship between morality and politics, which important values you should give priority to and the moral assessment of Swedish neutrality will be examined. The politicians and newspaper editors examined in this book are: Petrus Gränebo, Bertil Ohlin, Östen Undén, DagensNyheter, Ny Tid and Svenska Dagbladet.

The purpose of this book is to show which basic ideas that governed Swedish foreign policy during the beginning of thc Cold War. Further, it aims to examine to what extent political decision-makers and debaters put forward and discussed the moral issues and what opinions they expressed on them.

The results show that an analysis is possible. The analysis of the actors' self-reflectations on the basicmoral issues of politics has shown that they recognized some moral problems and issues and put these forward for discussion. The actor's expressed a wish to find a moral foundation or legitimization of the foreign policy they recommended.

They were confronted with the question of the moral legitimacy of neutrality and were forced to make a decision. The book shows that for them neutrality was neither immoral nor moral, but that it could be morally defendable. DN is the only exception. Neutrality was not expressly said to be a moral good. The actor's were aware that neutrality from a moral point of view could be disputed. Five out of six actors apprehended shortcomings in the neutrality. The presence of different forms of moral criticism against neutrality has been shown. It seems that the Swedish decision to follow a neutrality policy in 1948-49 was not chosen because of itsmoral content but in spite of it.

The book also shows to which values the actors gave a priority. These could also work as moral norms. Such values are peace, liberty, solidarity and the national interest. What values the actors gave priority to have been established and compared.

In the concluding section it is briefly discussed which consequences the conclusion of this dissertation might have for the conception of Swedish foreign policy during the Cold war. The problems that occurred when the actors on the one hand sided with the West in the Cold War but, on the other hand, did not want to participate in a Western military alliance have been treated. Finally, the book tries to explain why the policy of neutrality was chosen, in spite of the fact that the actors did not see any major positive moral values in it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2000. , 277, [1] p.
Keyword [en]
History, Political Morality. The Cold War. Swedish Foreign Policy, 1945-52, Neutrality, Norms, Values
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-758ISBN: 91-89449-01-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-758DiVA: diva2:169711
Public defence
2000-03-22, hörsal 2, Ekonomikum, Uppsala, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2000-03-01 Created: 2000-03-01Bibliographically approved

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