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Higher Seminar in Statecraft and Strategic Communication | Anna Wieslander

“The Hultqvist doctrine” – Swedish security and defence policy after the Russian annexation of Crimea


Abstract: My presentation will focus on how Sweden adapted to the worsened security situation in its vicinity following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 and war in Eastern Ukraine through the “Hultqvist Doctrine”. Building on security policy research focused on neoclassic realism and small state strategies the aim is to bring clarity to how the Hultqvist doctrine best can be understood – as a non-aligned or an integration policy? – and how the strategy relates to both systemic forces and domestic circumstances. The presentation addresses the puzzle posed by structural realism, that the systemic forces would work to encourage Sweden to align in face of the threat that emerged in 2014. Still, Sweden resisted NATO membership. To this end, I construct and apply an analytical framework that not only reveals the degree of novelty in the doctrine, but also allows for an evaluation of integration versus screening. Following neoclassical realism, I furthermore identify domestic conditions that hinder policy flexibility. In the end, the Hultqvist doctrine did not prevail in face of an even more severe Russian threat. I conclude with some questions for future research on why this was the case.

Bio: I am Director for Northern Europe at the American foreign policy think tank Atlantic Council, and Head of its office in Stockholm. I am also Chair of the Board of the Institute for Security and Development Policy, and an Adjunct Professor at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany. I have previously served as Deputy Director at the Swedish Institute for International Affairs. I have also worked as Chief of Staff for the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament and as Deputy Director and Secretary of the Swedish Defence Commission at the Ministry of Defence. I am a PhD Candidate in Political Science at Lund University and have conducted PhD studies at UC Berkeley. I also have a degree in Journalism from Gothenburg University and have worked as a journalist at Sydsvenska Dagbladet and Dagens Nyheter.


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CSSC Research seminar