This thesis examines the role of party strategy when political parties are confronted with matters of foreign policy. Is it possible to understand parties' actions as taken to maximize their electoral support, to maximize their parliamentary influence or to promote unity within the party? The role of party strategy is examined through two case studies: the Catalina-affair of 1952 concerning Sweden's reaction after the Soviet Union had shot down two Swedish aircraft over the Baltic.: and the EEC question of 1961/62 concerning the stand Sweden should take towards the EEC after Great Britain and Denmark had both decided to apply for membership.
Six hypotheses are presented as to what the relationship between party strategy and party action can be expected to be. It is assumed that party strategy plays a very minor role in times of international tension and in matters which concern diplomatic security policy, whereas its role is assumed to be greater in matters of foreign trade since these do not directly concern national security. Furthermore, it is assumed that actions motivated by party strategy are more often taken by opposition parties than government parties. Finally, it is assumed that even when party strategy is given freest reign, as in election campaigns, debating activities, image-building and criticism, it is nevertheless restricted in matters of external relations.
The role of party strategy is examined through the internal motives of the parties and the actions of the daily newspapers. Even though the press may not be directly controlled by the parties, previous studies have shown that there is close agreement between the positions of the press and the parties in Sweden.
When the results of the two case studies are compared, only one of the expectations is upheld: the nature of the issue is important for party strategy plays a larger role in matters concerning foreign trade than concerning diplomatic security policy. The assumption that the opposition reacts more strategically than the government is supported by the EEC question but not the Catalina-affair. The remaining assumptions receive no support in either of the cases. Both cases also show that the parties attempted to draw advantage, as far as domestic policy was concerned, from matters of foreign policy even though the positions they held were adopted for reasons other than party strategy.
Stockholm: Univ. , 1995.
Politiska partier, Utrikespolitik, Catalinaffären i massmedia, Journalistik, politiska aspekter
Diss. Stockholm : Univ.