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  • 1.
    Noreen, Erik
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
    Sjöstedt, Roxanna
    Ångström, Jan
    Why small states join big wars: The case of Sweden in Afghanistan 2002–20142017In: International Relations, ISSN 0047-1178, E-ISSN 1741-2862, Vol. 31, no 2, p. 145-168Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The security behavior of small states has traditionally been explained by different takes of realism, liberalism, or constructivism – focusing on the behavior that aims toward safeguarding sovereignty or engaging in peace policies. The issue of why states with limited military capacities and little or no military alignments or engagements decide to participate in an international mission has received limited attention by previous research. In contrast, this article argues that a three-layered discursive model can make the choices of small states more precisely explained and thereby contribute to an increased understanding of small states’ security behavior beyond threat balancing and interdependence. Analyzing a deviant case of a non-aligned small state, this article explains why Sweden became increasingly involved in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan. By focusing on the domestic political discourses regarding the Swedish involvement in this mission, it is suggested that a narrative shapes public perception of a particular policy and establishes interpretative dominance of how a particular event should be understood. This dominant domestic discourse makes a certain international behavior possible and even impossible to alter once established. In the Swedish case, it is demonstrated that this discourse assumed a ‘catch-all’ ambition, satisfying both domestic and international demands. In general terms, it should thus be emphasized that certain discourses and narratives are required in order to make it possible for a country to participate in a mission such as ISAF and prolong the mission for several years.

  • 2.
    Noreen, Erik
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
    Ångström, Jan
    Försvarshögskolan, Stockholm.
    A Catch-All Strategic Narrative: Target Audiences and Swedish Troop Contribution to ISAF in Afghanistan2015In: Strategic narratives, public opinion and war: winning domestic support for the Afghan War / [ed] Beatrice De Graaf, George Dimitriu and Jens Ringsmose, London: Routledge, 2015, p. 282-299Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Noreen, Erik
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
    Ångström, Jan
    Försvarshögskolan, Stockholm.
    Swedish Strategy and the Afghan Experience: from neutrality to ambiguity2016In: The Swedish Presence in Afghanistan: Security and Defence Transformation / [ed] Arita Holmberg & Jan Hellenberg, London: Routledge, 2016, p. 31-54Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Ångström, Jan
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
    Honig, Jan Willem
    Department of War Studies, King’s College London, UK.
    Regaining Strategy: Small Powers, Strategic Culture, and Escalation in Afghanistan2012In: Journal of Strategic Studies, ISSN 0140-2390, E-ISSN 1743-937X, Vol. 35, no 5, p. 663-687Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Western operations in Afghanistan, small European powers escalate in different ways. While Denmark and the Netherlands have contributed to Western escalation through integration with British and US forces, Norway and Sweden have done so by creating a division of labour allowing US and British combat forces to concentrate their efforts in the south. These variations in strategic behaviour suggest that the strategic choice of small powers is more diversified than usually assumed. We argue that strategic culture can explain the variation in strategic behaviour of the small allies in Afghanistan. In particular, Dutch and Danish internationalism have reconciled the use of force in the national and international domains, while in Sweden and Norway there is still a sharp distinction between national interest and humanitarianism.

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