UDC 621.039(485)
Biblid: 0543-3657, 73 (2022)
Vol. 73, No 1186, pp. 55-76
DOI: https://doi.org/10.18485/iipe_mp.2022.73.1186.3

Original scientific paper
Received: 20 Sep 2022
Accepted: 15 Nov 2022
CC BY-SA 4.0

THE NUCLEAR PROGRAM IN SWEDEN’S GLOBAL POSITIONING: NATO, NEUTRALITY AND ANTI-NUCLEAR POSTURE

Stojanović Bogdan (Naučni saradnik, Institut za međunarodnu politiku i privredu, Beograd, Srbija), bogdan.stojanovic@diplomacy.bg.ac.rs

This paper investigates the effects of Sweden’s nuclear weapons program in its historical global positioning. Author analyzes the causes and scope of the launched nuclear weapons program, looking at the perspective of the continuity of Swedish neutrality and military non-alignment, until the country’s latest decision to join NATO. By shutting down the nuclear program, Sweden marked the path of the main promoter of global disarmament and the initiator for the elimination of all nuclear arsenals. The main hypothesis that is being proven reads: By joining NATO, Sweden would not only abandon the centuries-old tradition of neutrality, but as a member of the military alliance would lose the image of a global antinuclear promoter. The paper is based on realistic premises regarding the security threat when analyzing the perception of the former Soviet and today’s Russian security threat. Normative approach was used to explain the abandonment of the nuclear program, noting that the security calculation overcame the strength of anti-nuclear norms in Sweden’s political practice. The relationship in the triangle NATO – neutrality – antinuclear posture will become more and more complicated over time, and after formal membership in NATO, Sweden may face the issue of deploying nuclear weapons on its territory. The paradox lies in the fact that Sweden abandoned its nuclear program on the verge of producing its own atomic arsenal, only to accept foreign (nuclear weapons) as part of its defense strategy decades later.

Keywords: Sweden, nuclear program, nuclear weapon, NATO, neutrality, anti-nuclear posture, Russia