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Svenska kärnvapenprogrammet under Kalla kriget: En studie av den internationella arena som påverkade uppstartandet och nedläggandet av Sveriges kärnvapenprogram
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to investigate possible reasons Sweden might have had to motivate the start and end of its nuclear program during the Cold war. This investigation will be conducted using a qualitative research method and making a comparison between the theories realism and liberalism’s ability to explain the decisions.


The question this paper is based upon is as follows: Can Sweden’s creating and shutting down of a nuclear weapons program during the Cold war be explained by the international events and actions that were taking place during this time period?


The result consists of liberalism pointing out several failures on the international level that might explain the cynical decision from Sweden to create the nuclear weapons. Realism considers the decision to make perfect sense at this point in time, to protect Sweden on the anarchy that was going on at that time according to this theory.

The ending of the nuclear weapons program is being explained largely by the rise of the MAD-concept which renders the acute need of nuclear weapons in Sweden void.  Liberalism on the other hand considers this a logic step due to the better established UN that is playing a larger role now than in the 1940s. In conclusion, realism does a better job explaining the start of the nuclear weapons program, while liberalism explains the end of it more efficiently.


The contribution this thesis has to the research of political science can be seen mainly in three areas. Firstly can the information gathered here be useful when negotiating with other countries regarding the possible shutting down nuclear programs in other states. Secondly has the decision not to develop nuclear weapons in Sweden surely effected 50 years of military strategy. Thirdly does the thesis contribute in the ongoing debate between liberalism and realism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 29 p.
Linnaeus University Dissertations
Keyword [en]
Realism, liberalism, Cold war, Swedish nuclear program, qualitative analysis, international relations, international organisations
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-29110OAI: diva2:652609
Subject / course
Political Science
Educational program
International Social Sciences Programme, specialization Global Studies, 180 credits
2013-09-27, K1038, Universitetsplatsen 1, 352 52 Växjö, 10:57 (Swedish)
Available from: 2013-10-01 Created: 2013-10-01 Last updated: 2013-10-28Bibliographically approved

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