Main Article Content

Neutrality as Realism in the New Global Order: A Treatise

OJ Osai


In contemporary foreign policy analysis, with special reference to the study of neutrality, the intellectual polemic between the Hobbesian and Lockean schools of thought has precipitated robust cerebral interchange between realist and liberal paradigms; and these offer different views of the  important policy stance of neutrality. While the realist school of thought explains a neutral stance as the rational calculation of a small state's  interest in the state-centered, unfriendly, self-help global political   environment, the liberal school of thought opines that the norms of international relationship and the internal dynamics of individual nations, especially the small and comparative weak ones, lead nations to seek and maintain neutrality. This paper takes a theoretical look at the concept of neutrality and subjects it to empirical analysis within the context of  contemporary global realities where the world is fraught with perennial international conflict. Drawing from the experiences and positions taken by Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, Ireland and other countries in numerous circumstances of international conflict over a timeframe of more than one-half of a century, the paper argues that demands from the international socioeconomic and political environment, including public opinion, and the output of institutionalism within the domestic political system provide an explanation for the continuing stance of neutrality.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2227-5452
print ISSN: 2225-8590