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Det baltiska problemet: En undersökning av Sveriges erkännanden och relationer till Estland och Lettland år 1918-1925
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2016 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This paper examines what happened when Sweden recognized Estonia and Latvia as sovereign states. The recognising process was part of what during the time was called "the Baltic problem". The Baltic problem was the new situation that arose around the Baltic Sea after World War I in 1918, where several new states were added. Sweden's geostrategic position was considerably better but the time after the war was a turbulent period in Sweden. Sweden needed to take into account how the victorious powers Britain and France acted in international politics. In this situation Sweden was faced with the decision to recognize the new states. This paper used the theoretical perspectives of "realism" and "idealism". Realism says that states do not respect international law, unless it is in the state's self-interest. Instead realism empathizes that the realpolitik and power politics are the main instruments of the state to achieve security. Idealism emphasizes that states will gladly take into account international law because it is morally right and also emphasizes the democratic institutions and economic cooperation to create an interdependency between states and thus achieve security. Sweden takes into account international law in the sense that Sweden wants to admit the two states when they meet the constitutional criteria. However, Sweden chose to not recognize any of the states before Britain and France had recognized them. Sweden's cautious behaviour towards the recognition and the negative attitude towards closer cooperation on security issues provide support to the realism as the theory that best explains Sweden's actions in their relationship with the newly proclaimed states of Estonia and Latvia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 54 p.
Keyword [en]
20th century, Baltic Sea, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, recognition, diplomatic relations, security, international law
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-125693OAI: diva2:971081
Subject / course
Educational program
Master Programme in Historical Studies
Available from: 2016-09-15 Created: 2016-09-15 Last updated: 2016-09-15Bibliographically approved

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