“ We strongly condemn…”: Norwegian governments’ Foreign Policy Statements as Political Tool or Moral Stance?
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In international relations “shaming-policy” is one of the most common and popular “tools” for achieving change in state behavior, concerning human rights and international law. Public exposure leads to pressure, which leads to change in behavior. In the international community, Norway has established itself as a small power with huge impact on peace related work. By examining 344 official press releases, from 1995-2017, issued by the Norwegian Government, have I tried to identify the main driving forces behind condemnation. The thesis is based on theories that claims that international politics is a struggle for power and status. States act in the international society, either based on moral or national interests, which represent the liberal international view and the realistic view. This thesis seeks to reveal to what degree the Norwegian government use condemnation as a political tool or a morality statement, and to what degree such patters are similar or different across Norwegian governments. The main findings in this study is first and foremost that the Norwegian government do not keep track of what they condemn. The findings also suggest that Norway does not exclusively condemn based on moral, but are guided by it. If there is a risk by choosing to condemn, that might threaten national interests, then there is a tendency that moral and ethics has to go at the expense of national interests. Therefore, the conclusion is that Norway use condemnation as a morality statement, but almost equally as a political tool.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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