A Study of Swedish War Materiel Export; the Paradox between Rhetoric, Law, and Practice of the Swedish Government

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A Study of Swedish War Materiel Export; the Paradox between Rhetoric, Law, and Practice of the Swedish Government

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title A Study of Swedish War Materiel Export; the Paradox between Rhetoric, Law, and Practice of the Swedish Government
Author(s) Hubbe, Carin
Date 2007
English abstract
I takt med att Sveriges export av krigsmateriel blir allt mindre restriktiv blir den också mer exportorienterad. Sverige är idag en av världens tionde största vapenexportörer. Förra året exporterades krigsmateriel för över tio miljarder kronor. Det är den största summan i Sveriges historia. Sveriges största krigsmaterielimportör är USA. Sedan Irakkriget bröt ut i Mars 2003, har Sveriges export av krigsmateriel till USA ökat markant. Sverige exporterar idag också krigsmateriel till ett flertal länder där grava kränkningar av mänskliga rättigheter förekommer, trots dess väldigt restriktiva lagar och riktlinjer på detta område. Denna studie har avsikten att kasta ljus över Sveriges export av krigsmateriel; den belyser hur Sverige försöker upprätthålla sin fasad som ett neutralt land medan det bakom kulisserna paradoxalt nog exporteras mer och mer krigsmateriel till kritiska stater; helt i strid med dess lagar och riktlinjer. Genom att fokusera på händelseutvecklingen sedan Inspektionen för Strategiska Produkter bildades 1996 samt på vad denna nya myndighet har inneburit för Svensk Krigsmateriel Industri dras slutsatser om hur denna paradox kan fortlöpa. Detta är särskilt intressant eftersom Sverige idag står inför ett vägval då beslut kommer tas gällande nya riktlinjer för Sveriges vapenexport.
Swedish abstract
Major changes have occurred within the Swedish War Materiel Industry over the past decade. Sweden has transformed from being a truly neutral country, with uniquely restrictive war materiel exportation laws and policies, into being one of the ten largest exporters of war materiel in the world. Most of the manufactured war materiel in Sweden is now used for export. An increasing trend of export has made the Swedish War Materiel Trade Industry flourish. On the front stage, towards the public, Sweden is upholding its image of being a neutral country. Its doctrine is the same as it has been since the beginning of the 1990s: that Sweden has restrictive arms trade politics. It is true that Sweden has strict laws and guidelines concerning war material trade; according to these, export of war materiel is not allowed to countries where extensive human rights violations occur. Neither is it allowed to countries in armed conflict, where there is a fear that an armed conflict will occur nor to a State with domestic armed disturbances/conflicts. Also, Swedish war materiel trade should never be in conflict with its foreign policy goals, which are enhancing Sweden’s contribution to freedom, security, democracy, prosperity, and sustainable development in the world. Despite this, Swedish war materiel export has now reached the highest amount in Swedish history. Backstage, the view of export has changed and an export-oriented custom has taken hold. In the 1990s, Swedish war materiel production increased with an average of 5.5 percent every year. But over the past 4 years, the trend has increased drastically, especially due to the Iraq War. Since it broke out, the total export of war materiel has almost doubled. In 2006 it exceeded ten billion SEK, which means that during the past ten years, the Swedish arms trade industry has more than tripled – from three billion SEK per year to over ten billion SEK. Not only has Sweden increased its export of war materiel to the USA - in times of war - but also to countries where extensive violations of human rights occurs, for example India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand and Bahrain. The front stage behaviour and the backstage action contradict each other. There is a difference in rhetoric and practice. It is a paradox to appear neutral front stage when exporting war materiel to ‘critical States’ backstage. Somehow Sweden has come to facilitate a climate that allows this to happen.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Lärarutbildningen
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) arms trade
war materiel export
war materiel industry
iraq war
usa
swedish government
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/4925 (link to this page)

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