Oceans Apart: Ideologies of Extraterritorial Foreign Policy in Northern Europe and the USA
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In the study of international relations, domestic variables have rather seldom been used to explain phenomena on the international level. In comparative politics and historical sociology, explaining domestic outcomes have been based upon reductionist concepts of the international system, if this level has been addressed at all. In the latter discipline, analysis is often truly sociological, while in the former, economic models of action and systems are predominant. In contrast, this thesis is a demonstration of the utility of comparing states by using explanatory variables from international relations, while at the same time presenting a sociological analysis of international institutions.The interplay between international and domestic politics is highlighted, as is the interplay between material and ideational incentives for action, since the state is embedded in a domestic as well as an international society. By combining the strategic and the habitual reservoir of action, interesting perspectives emerge through an empirical analysis of extraterritorial foreign policy. Extraterritorial foreign policy is maritime and naval state policies, and these policies were shaped by domestic and international factors, just as the policies in turn shaped international relations and institutions. It is argued here, that both the interplay between the domestic and international, and the combination of strategic and habitual state preferences can be studied by applying a typology of states based on ideological principles and degrees of overseas interests. From the second half of the 17th century, the international system showed a higher degree of hierarchical properties than what often portrayed in neorealism. Therefore, the moulding of international institutions was highly dependent upon both preferences and ideational motives on behalf of the strongest powers in the international system. For smaller states, the alternatives were bandwagoning or sovereignty-seeking behaviour. However, the nature and content of the international institutions created structures that could be utilised by all states in the international society. It is demonstrated here that the post-war era therefore led to a major upheaval in the history of the international system, since it represented more formal equality for all states in a system where power was unevenly distributed. In spite of globalization and large-power rivalry, the autonomy of smaller states increased: sovereignty was transformed, not eroded. State autonomy increased for the majority of states as liberalism increasingly was institutionalised on the international level. Nevertheless, the thesis demonstrates that historically, other organizations than states have also waged war and used political power at, and from, the sea.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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Hans Olav Stensli
Hans Olav Stensli