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Klas Nilsson


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EUS 348 • Sweden And Global Politics

36490 • Fall 2017
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GDC 5.304
(also listed as GOV 360N, GSD 360)

The course examines Sweden and its changing roles in European and world politics over the last century. Three consecutive phases stand out: a watchful neutrality during the world wars, social activism in support of intergovernmental organizations and developing nations during the Cold War, and a swift political alignment with mainland Europe after the end of that war. The course seeks to explore and analyze these changing roles from an international relations perspective and it argues that Sweden (alongside its Scandinavian neighbors) has exercised an external authority that significantly exceeds its military or economic strength- this authority has instead been rooted in ideational and moral ground. The course offers insight into when and how small states can influence political events and developments outside their own borders and it explores the limits of such influence. It furthermore emphasizes the fundamental changes that took place after 1995, when Sweden became part of the European Union, and discusses the ways in which the shift from sovereign nation to member state has both enabled and hampered the foreign-policy ambitions of the country. Throughout the course, the widespread notion that Sweden is a "norm entrepreneur" in international politics, and a role model for others to emulate in the context of peace promotion, good governance, social equality, and human welfare, will be critically assessed.

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  • Center for European Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
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    Austin, Texas 78712
    512-232-3470