Enighetens gränser

Konsensus eller konfrontation vid utformningen av den svenska försvarspolitiken?


  • Håkan Edström
  • Jacob Westberg


The limits of unity: Consensus or confrontation in shaping Swedish defence policy

How encompassing is the consensus among the political parties represented in the Swedish parliament when it comes to the military threat from Russia, the relations with NATO and the design of the Swedish Armed Forces? This article aims at answering this question by exploring the Swedish defence policy from the Russian war against Georgia in 2008 to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Our results indicate that the consensus among the parties increases with the escalation of the tensions in the international relations. Hence, we disagree with some results of previous research on Swedish security politics. We conclude that the tipping point regarding the Swedish application for NATO-membership was the existential dimension of the current Russian aggression. When the internal efforts to defend Sweden against a potential Russian attack was perceived not being enough, applying for membership was considered a necessity, not an option, among a majority of the parties.