Since the end of the Cold War, and particularly in the post-9/11 international environment, neutrality has been conceptualised as a problematic subject. With the end of bipolarity, neutrality as a foreign and security policy lost much of its justification, and in the ongoing 'War on Terror', state, according to the Bush Administration, can be neutral. However, much of this debate has gone unticed in IR literature. This book, newly available in paperback, examines the conceptualisation of neutrality from the Peloponnesian War to the present day, uncovering how neutrality has been a neglected and misunderstood subject in IR theory and politics. By rethinking neutrality through constructivism, this book argues that neutrality is intrinsically linked to identity. Using Sweden as a case study, it links identity, sovereignty, internationalism and solidarity to the debates about Swedish neutrality today and how neutrality has been central to Swedish identity and its world-view.
Christine Agius is Lecturer in International Relations and Politics at the University of Salford