Neutrality as a Strategy of National Security

: 51-56
Received: October 16, 2017
Accepted: November 20, 2017
Lviv Polytechnic National University
University of Vilnius

The complex study of the state neutrality strategy is done. The theoretical and methodological basis of neutrality strategy is analyzed, the problem of definition this phenomenon is investigated, the main aspects of neutrality strategy tendencies are clarified.

When Ukraine gained independence after the dissolution of the USSR, the new country declared an intention to become a permanently neutral state that does not participate in military blocs. The concepts of neutrality have been considered an effective means of pursuing foreign policy and ensuring a national security of the new state. This research undertakes an investigation of the transformation of the concept of neutrality under the conditions of the dynamic process of globalization in the modern international relations. It aims to examine the changes in the priorities in the foreign policy of the states that declared a permanently neutral and non-aligned status. The methods are used to identify scholarly theories that view neutrality as a security strategy.

It was pointed out that neutrality as a security strategy had become most significant, during the Cold War. In this respect, the end of bipolarity brought uncertainty and ambivalence in the perception of the notion of neutrality. On the one hand, the rationale for neutrality in the age of globalization seemed to disappear; on the other hand, the neutral states had increased their activities in new areas and become newly involved in international politics. The hypothesis of the thesis was that neutrality remained to be an effective tool in the conceptual formation and implementation of the foreign policy of the states under the conditions of the dynamic development of the modern international relations. However, it was pointed out that the success of neutrality depended on a state’s ability to maintain a credibility of the very status, taking into account a geopolitical location of the state and a positive perception of such a status by the potential belligerents, alliances, blocs, and the leading actors of the international relations, on the whole.

Neutrality as a status of the state that resists participation in war actions with the other states remains to be a vital concept in the international politics. Its evolution under the conditions of the bipolar system of international relations led to the emergence of the politics of non-alignment, which is considered unilaterally declared status that does not necessarily need to be internationally-legally stipulated and that provides a state with somewhat broader space for action, only via limiting its participation in military blocs. Furthermore, with the emergence of new sectors of security and homogeneity of the world in the age of globalization, the concept of neutrality did not lose its meaning. The European neutrals proved that in the conditions of the formation of the multipolar system of international relations and the new system of European security, neutrality may become one of the indispensable elements for their proper functioning.

Baldwin, D. A. (1997). The Concept of Security. Review of International Studies, 23, 4–21.

Bederman, D. (2001). International Law in Antiquity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

David, S. R. (1991). Explaining Third World Alignment. World Politics, 43(2), 232–239.

Fit’o, A., Solomon’yuk, A., Mazur, R. (2010). Neutrality is Conscious Neglect of Ukraine’s Security or the Goodness for its Citizens. Kyiv: Liga-net. Retrieved from

 Gilpin, R. (1981). War and Change in World Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Jervis, R. (1978). Cooperation under the Security Dilemma. World Politics, 30(2), 21–35.

Karsh, E. (1988). Neutrality and Small States. London: Routledge.

Michael, W. D. (1997). Ways of War and Peace: Realism, Liberalism, and Socialism. New York/London: W.W.Norton & Company.

Morgenthau, H. J. (1993). Politics among Nations: the struggle for power and peace. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Neuhold, H. (1989). Challenges to Neutrality in an Interdependent World. In J. Kruzel & M. H. Haltzel (Eds.). Between the Blocs: Problems and Prospects for Europe’s Neutral and Nonaligned States. (pp. 71–90). Cambridge, New York, Port Chester, Sydney: Cambridge University Press and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Neuhold, H. (1992). The European Neutrals Facing the Challenges of the 1990s. In H. Neuhold (Ed.). The European Neutrals in the 1990s. New Challenges and Opportunities.
(pp. 45–56). Boulder, San Francisco and Oxford: Westview Press.

Ojanen, H., Herolf G., & Lindahl, R. (2000). Non-alignment and European Security Policy. Helsinki: The Finish Institute of International Affairs.

Shevtsov, A. (Ed.). (2002). European Neutrality and Ukraine’s Ambiguity. Dnipropetrovs’k: DF NISD.

Subedi, S. P. (1993). Neutrality in a changing world: European neutral states and the European Community. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 42 (2), 220–243.

Tuck, R. (Ed.). (1992). Leviathan/Thomas Hobbes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Waltz, K. N. (1986). Anarchic Orders and Balances of Power. In R. O. Keohane (Ed.). Neorealism and its critics. (pp. 87–110). New York: Columbia University Press.

Walt, S. M. (1985). Alliance formation and the Balance of World Power. International Security, 9(4), 2–18.