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Limited Military Pressure – An Analytical Framework to Assess No-Fly Zones as a Single Instrument in Coercive Diplomacy
Swedish National Defence College. (Masters in Political Science with a focus on Crisis Management, Security and Defense)
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Coercive diplomacy attempts to use military force in a limited fashion as a diplomatic and political tool in order to persuade an opponent to cease aggression rather than to bludgeon him into stopping. The use of limited military force in coercive diplomacy is not a military strategy, but rather a refined political and psychological instrument used for resolving a crisis. One relatively new instrument in the toolbox of limited force when engaging in coercive diplomacy, fashioned to deter adversaries, is the use of no-fly zones. The term no-fly zone describes the physical area of a nation that is patrolled using the airpower of another sovereign state or coalition. However, despite its relatively frequent use in its short history, it has largely been ignored in theoretical studies of coercive diplomacy.

As scholars, such as Daniel Byman and Matthew Waxman, have presented a critical view on the limitations of approaching a study on a single instrument in coercive diplomacy, this paper grounds the argument that there is still value in this approach. Given that the conditions of coercive diplomacy mainly focus on an array of coercive instruments at a political level, are the conditions in the theories of coercive diplomacy sufficient to explain the political success of the military instrument of no-fly zones?

Hence, this paper illustrates the theoretical reach of the theories of coercive diplomacy by highlighting the fungibility of the coercive diplomacy’s theoretical ‘success conditions’ when assessing a single military instrument. By studying the political success and failure in four separate cases, this paper proposes an analytical framework, which is by and large, derived from Peter Viggo Jakobsen and Alexander George’s theoretical basis. However, as the theoretical basis does not fully cover all of the political dimensions of no-fly zones, an additional variable is proposed.

The resulting analytical framework suggests that this is a viable approach, but only by combining Jakobsen’s revised conditions with the original work of Alexander George, in addition to the proposed variable. Thus, this result contributes to the large body of scholarly work on coercive diplomacy theory and the debate whether one can assess a specific coercive instrument with the political ‘success conditions’ of coercive diplomacy, or not.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 45 p.
Keyword [en]
Coercive Diplomacy, No-Fly Zone (NFZ), Ideal Policy, Limited Use of Force, Thomas Schelling, Alexander George, Peter Viggo Jakobsen, Iraq, Bosnia, Libya
National Category
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-2782OAI: diva2:543939
Subject / course
Statsvetenskap med inriktning mot krishantering och internationell samverkan
2012-05-28, 21:27 (English)
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Master Thesis
Available from: 2012-08-22 Created: 2012-08-11 Last updated: 2012-08-22Bibliographically approved

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