PLAN B A comparative study of how the Norwegian and Swedish states relate to the international organization they cannot be members of

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Author: Maria Tilander; [2016-09-16]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: The purpose of the thesis is to reconsider the Norwegian non-membership of the EU and theSwedish non-membership of NATO. The premise of this extensive in-depth study is tocontribute to our understanding of how state sovereignty can be pursued either individuallyor collectively. Empirically, I compare the strategies to approach these organizations as nonmembers, and moreover what the implications are for these strategy choices. The theoretical definition of plan A is that a country applies for membership in the international organizations. Norway’s plan A was to join the EU but since the Norwegian elite lost the 1994 referendum, the EEA agreement became plan B. I furthermore argue that Sweden never had a plan A of joining NATO and brought about plan B directly, which was the NATO Partnership. The political leadership has, through suboptimization, negotiated this plan B since the membership strategy is not possible. The thesis builds on the theoreticalperspectives of Multi-Level Governance and bounded rationality, since rational decisions ofmaximizing are difficult where there are multiple sets of preferences, actors, and levels of governance. The main assumption is that sovereignty is maintained by collective actionthrough this plan B.

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