The past decade has seen substantial shifts in Swedish security policy and major change in the domestic debate about NATO. For the first time, all of the right-of-centre “alliance parties” are calling for a full NATO membership, and popular support for NATO has increased. Yet public opinion contains ambiguities and paradoxes that complicate the picture. At the same time as support for NATO has increased, the public is overwhelmingly for continued military non-alignment. Drawing on previous research, longitudinal data from national surveys, and other sources on defence and security issues, this article aims to increase our understanding of the development and change in Swedish public opinion on NATO. A key argument is that Erving Goffman’s theatre metaphor, combined with neo-institutional decoupling theory, to a large degree can help understand the public opinion paradox.
Abstract:Cooperation and partnership are supporting elements of NATO's operation, and the Alliance has focused on maximizing the value of its partnerships, especially in the context of hybrid threats. In order to facilitate the broader network of partners, the Alliance adopted a new partnership policy in April 2011. Experts frequently challenge the success of its implementation, because of the weaknesses and inconsistencies. The paper analyzes the wide network of partner relationships and initiatives with countries and organizations at the regional and global level. The focus is on the functionality and efficiency of NATO's partnership policy and its new tools, aimed at fostering and shaping new effective relationships with potential future and existing partners. The paper gives an overview of the established partnership relations of NATO with Russia and the crisis therein. One of the reasons for this milestone between NATO and Russia are the recent Russian military interventions. The paper is intended to stimulate critical thinking regarding the implementation of the NATO partnership policy.
ABSTRACT: Is there mutual benefit in a relationship between the People's Republic of China and the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO)? At first glance, China and NATO appear to have little to offer one another, and many obstacles to cooperation exist. But distinct (and different) benefits exist for both parties should they elect to pursue a relationship based on interests. NATO and China share a common interest in maintaining international security, and increased interaction can thus appeal to NATO's desire to extend cooperative security beyond the Euro–Atlantic area while offering the Chinese a means for protecting their interests on the global stage in a constructive, non-threatening manner. While both NATO and China have interests in Afghanistan, the most fertile ground for a future relationship lies in mutual interests in four ‘politically acceptable’ domains: crisis management, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, counter-proliferation and counter-piracy. Increased interaction will present both NATO and China with risks, but these are ultimately outweighed by the potential benefits.
Of all the assumptions pervading the conventional wisdom about Russian foreign policy few have been more universally accepted than Russia’s supposed opposition to NATO expansion. Because Russia’s principal source of profit has come from rental value of
natural resources from the world market, Russia’s foreign policy has largely been conducted in the interests of the exporters of those resources. Compliance with NATO expansion, Moscow’s decision-makers apparently believe, can only promote the pecuniary
interests of that group. Given this dynamic, and confirmed by an examination of the historical record, I conclude that Moscow’s leaders have acquiesced to and even supported NATO expansion.
INFO: What role do partnerships play in forming a global peacekeeping system that can respond effectively and predictably to today’s security challenges? This special issue of the journal International Peacekeeping addresses the political, strategic, and operational challenges inherent in partnerships and proposes strategies for addressing them.