The purpose of this essay is to analyze the connection between the perceived security policy threat and the view of a solution on the matter offered by the three biggest political parties of Sweden. These three parties are the Moderate Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Sweden Democrats. By studying these parties’ perceived point of view regarding the Swedish security policy threat, focusing Russia, and their opinion concerning a Swedish Nato-membership, opens up for the possibility of making conclusions whether each parties’ opinion regarding a Swedish membership of Nato is based on their assumption of what they believe are to be the current Swedish security policy treat, or if there might be, totally or partly, other aspects behind each parties’ opinion concerning a Swedish membership of Nato.
The purpose of this essay is to be answered with help from the following research questions:
1. What are the standpoint regarding the current Swedish security policy threat, focusing Russia, for the Social Democratic Party, the Moderate Party and the Sweden Democrats?
2. In what extent are the Social Democratic Party, the Moderate Party and the Sweden Democrats standpoint regarding a Swedish Nato membership based on their point of view concerning the current Swedish security policy threat, focusing Russia?
The theoretical framework of the essay is based on Allison & Zelikow´s rational choice model "The Rational Actor".
The material used, in order to answer these two questions, consists of party programs, motions from the Defense committee and interviews with defense representatives from each of the three parties. The answer to question number one indicates that the Moderate Party and the Social Democratic Party, to a large extent, describes a similar threat whilst the Sweden Democrats is slightly different because of their focus of the interstate military threat.
Research question number two is answered by analyzing the answer of question number one through "The Rational Actor model". The analyze shows that the Moderates is the party that, to the greatest extent, base their standpoint concerning a Swedish membership in Nato on their assumption of the current security policy threat, focusing Russia. The Sweden Democrats to a certain extent and the Social Democrats is the party that to the least extent base their standpoint concerning a Swedish Nato-membership on their assumptions of the Swedish security policy threat, focusing Russia.
Some of the reasons behind the answer of question number two could partly depend on the fact that the Moderate Party is a historically traditional conservative party where questions concerning a strong defense and a clear approach to the western countries always has played an important role.
The Social Democratic Party, on the other hand, has for a long time been in favor of a Swedish non-alignment policy, which entails them having invested a great deal of political capital in to this question. In terms of the Sweden Democrats, the author, notes that they do not have as firm standpoint as the other two parties have, concerning their views about the Swedish non-alignment policy. Due to this fact it is not all together out of question that the Sweden Democrats would support either a Swedish membership of Nato or a continued Swedish non-alignment policy, in exchange for influence in other political polices that would have higher priority for the party.