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Trust, but VerifyThe Politics of Uncertainty and the Transformation of the Cold War Order, 1969-1991$
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Martin Klimke, Reinhild Kreis, and Christian F. Ostermann

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804798099

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804798099.001.0001

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Switzerland and Détente: A Revised Foreign Policy Characterized by Distrust

Switzerland and Détente: A Revised Foreign Policy Characterized by Distrust

Chapter:
(p.259) 12. Switzerland and Détente: A Revised Foreign Policy Characterized by Distrust
Source:
Trust, but Verify
Author(s):

Sandra Bott

Janick Marina Schaufelbuehl

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804798099.003.0013

This chapter illustrates how Switzerland aimed to redefine its neutrality in international relations in the first half of the 1970s. On the one hand, Switzerland maintained its traditional Cold War maxims of armed defense, neutrality, and solidarity. On the other hand, in the face of détente and the perception of a new global context, the Swiss Federal Council, inspired by the Federal Political Department, embarked on a more active foreign policy that aimed to rebrand Swiss neutrality by renewing “goodwill” and trust toward it. Although this reorientation was not entirely successful, it was driven by a profound distrust of previous alliance systems and the process of détente, which eventually led Switzerland to a more globally oriented and defensive posture in international relations.

Keywords:   Switzerland, neutrality, international relations, détente, Swiss neutrality

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