Domestic and Governmental Politics

  • Gunnar FermannEmail author


How do attributes of government, governmental institutions, and domestic politics explain the adoption of caveats in foreign policy and patterns of caveats in coalition forces? The caveats-specific literature starts from the assumption that national reservations on the use of force are the outcome of necessary political compromises in support of the participation in coalition operations. Somehow, caveats is an instrument that may facilitate the construction of domestic winning political coalitions required to participate in allied coalition operations. Political entrepreneurs and skilled mediators use the foreign policy instrument of caveats to reduce the political costs of entrenched parties and show them a feasible way to make a political compromise. Applying caveats implies that the political issue of coalition participation transformed from an indivisible one, based on principled resistance to war-participation, to a divisible question about how to participate. The significance of framing and the construction of bridge-building narratives should not be underestimated. The theoretical discussion draws on recent research on domestic and institutional factors impacting foreign policy outcomes and leads to the deduction of 23 probing hypotheses on the inclination to participate in coalitions and apply caveats to military contingent.


Creating winning domestic coalitions Coalition government Parliament Indivisible policy issues Left-Right ideological axis The cosmopolitan-communitarian axis of politics Ideology Polarization Political risk Parliamentary democracy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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