Neutrality as an Instrument of Small State Manoeuvring and the Globalisation of Neutrality in the Cold War

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Abstract

This chapter examines the uses of neutrality as an instrument of manoeuvre for smaller powers in the Cold War world. By analysing the contemporary 1950s – 60s public and scholarly conceptions of neutrality, the chapter locates neutrality into wider international and transnational historical contexts. The main findings of this chapter are that, first, regardless of the often dismissive attitudes towards neutrality, neutrality was understood to be a highly relevant global political phenonmenon in the Cold War. Secondly, the sudden global relevance of a phenomenon that had been doomed to death in Europe of the 1930s – 40s opened unprecedented options for the small ‘traditional’ neutrals in Europe, allowing them to use their type of neutrality as an instrument of manoeuvring internationally and nationally. In result, the small traditional neutrals in Europe were provided influence that went beyond their limited size and resources. Yet, in the Cold War context very particular international/Western attention was paid to the neutrals’, the aspirant mediators’ or ‘bridge-builders’, domestic stability, state-capacity and national cohesion. These elements were the keys to extend margins of manoeuvre for small/weak neutral states in Cold War world affairs. For many aspirant neutrals around the globe, they proved too demanding.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMargins of Manoeuvre in Cold War Europe : The influence of smaller powers
EditorsLaurien Crump, Susanna Erlandsson
PublisherRoutledge
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

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