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Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 282–304 | Cite as

Neutral Switzerland and Western security governance from the Cold War to the global economic crisis

  • Daniel MöckliEmail author
Article

Abstract

Even though Switzerland is a Western country in many ways, it has traditionally kept its distance from Western security governance. During the Cold War, this was in line with the policies of other European neutrals, which also stayed away from both NATO and European integration. Yet, unlike the other neutrals, Switzerland has chosen to remain on the sidelines even when the concepts of neutrality and Western security became much less mutually exclusive after 1989. Examining the Swiss position vis-a`-vis transatlantic and European security since 1945, this article argues that the main factors explaining the reluctance of the Swiss to associate with the West relate to their peculiar institutions, their identity needs, and the benefits of acting as a niche player. However, as Switzerland faces a series of foreign policy challenges in the context of the global economic crisis, there will likely be new debates as to how the country should position itself in the world.

Switzerland United States transatlantic security European integration ESDP/CSDP neutrality Cold War economic crisis 

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Security StudiesZurichSwitzerland

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