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ECPR Summer School in Methods & Techniques 2020

Political Entrepreneurship as Painful Choice: A Comparative Examination of Swedish (Post)-Neutrality Foreign and Security Policy

European Politics
European Union
Foreign Policy
International Relations
Policy Analysis
Lee Miles
Loughborough University
Lee Miles
Loughborough University

This innovative paper firstly offers a fresh conceptual approach combining actor-oreinted approaches drawn from Foreign Policy Analysis (in particular Welch's Painful Choice theory) and political entreprenuership (drawn from policy analysis and public administration) in order to provide a comprehensive way of understanding the 'why' and 'how' of foreign policy change. In addition, the paper applies this conceptual framework to the comparative case of Swedish foreign and security policy since the 1990s, which has seen the progressive abandonment of many aspects of neutrality and now non-alignment and a major movement to a foreign policy 'with a European identity'. In particular, the paper argues that there is need to supplement structural approaches to foreign policy, with comparative studies of political entrepreneurs in the foreign policy domain who often act as entrepreneurial 'change agents'.
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