Introduction to Special Issue: Bound to be peaceful? The changing approach of Western European small states to peace

Goetschel, Laurent. (2013) Introduction to Special Issue: Bound to be peaceful? The changing approach of Western European small states to peace. Swiss Political Science Review, 19 (3). pp. 259-278.

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Despite a changed international political context in the post‐Cold War period, Western European small states remain firmly engaged in peace policy. One would be tempted to describe them as “natural born” peacemakers. This article shows a different approach to small states' peace policies. Using a typology from the literature on the role of norms and ideas, it argues that the type of peace engagement followed by small states has changed considerably during recent decades. More precisely, a shift has occurred in their peace policies from normative to cognitive ideas. This may be explained through their closer cooperation with international organisations (such as the EU), loss of significance of traditional role concepts such as neutrality, and the changed content of peace policies. Two consequences result from it: firstly, cognitive ideas are less linked to historically deep‐rooted identities and therefore more prone to change; secondly, there fewer comparative advantages accrue to small states in promoting cognitive ideas. Thus, though small states remain very active peacebuilders, they have become less “natural” peacemakers than they used to be.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Politikwissenschaft > Politikwissenschaft (Goetschel)
08 Cross-disciplinary Subjects > Europainstitut > Ehemalige Einheiten Europainstitut > Europäische Politik (Goetschel)
09 Associated Institutions > swisspeace foundation > Peace Research (Goetschel)
UniBasel Contributors:Goetschel, Laurent
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:15 Jun 2018 14:40
Deposited On:25 Oct 2013 08:33

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