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Schuman Centre’s Seminar Series: Debating Military Interventions: Party-political patterns of justifications for using armed force in Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom

Dates:
  • Wed 23 Oct 2019 16.30 - 18.30
  Add to Calendar 2019-10-23 16:30 2019-10-23 18:30 Europe/Paris Schuman Centre’s Seminar Series: Debating Military Interventions: Party-political patterns of justifications for using armed force in Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom

This paper presents the results from a computer-based Qualitative Content Analysis of parliamentary debates on military interventions in Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom. Although all three countries are Western European NATO allies and EU members, their strategic cultures differ considerably: whereas Germany has become known for its “culture of antimilitarism”, the UK has been at the forefront of Western interventionism. The UK also differs from Canada and Germany by being a great power with nuclear weapons and a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. This paper will examine to what extent parties of the same family (radical left; green, social-democratic; Christian-democratic, conservative and (populist) radical right) use similar arguments to justify or criticize the deployment of armed forces abroad. Although political-strategic culture has an influence on the terms of debates in the three countries, I will show that in all three countries, national interests will be most prominent among conservative parties, cosmopolitan-humanitarian rationales will be most frequent among social-democrats and greens and isolationist arguments will dominate speeches by MPs of the radical right and radical left. Furthermore, I expect parties on the right of the political spectrum to show a more instrumental attitude on international law and a United Nations Security Council mandate in particular.

Wolfgang Wagner is a Professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Schuman Centre.

Sala Belvedere, Villa Schifanoia DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala Belvedere, Villa Schifanoia

This paper presents the results from a computer-based Qualitative Content Analysis of parliamentary debates on military interventions in Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom. Although all three countries are Western European NATO allies and EU members, their strategic cultures differ considerably: whereas Germany has become known for its “culture of antimilitarism”, the UK has been at the forefront of Western interventionism. The UK also differs from Canada and Germany by being a great power with nuclear weapons and a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. This paper will examine to what extent parties of the same family (radical left; green, social-democratic; Christian-democratic, conservative and (populist) radical right) use similar arguments to justify or criticize the deployment of armed forces abroad. Although political-strategic culture has an influence on the terms of debates in the three countries, I will show that in all three countries, national interests will be most prominent among conservative parties, cosmopolitan-humanitarian rationales will be most frequent among social-democrats and greens and isolationist arguments will dominate speeches by MPs of the radical right and radical left. Furthermore, I expect parties on the right of the political spectrum to show a more instrumental attitude on international law and a United Nations Security Council mandate in particular.

Wolfgang Wagner is a Professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Schuman Centre.


Location:
Sala Belvedere, Villa Schifanoia

Affiliation:
Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies

Type:
Seminar series
 
 

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