By the same authors

Swedish recognition of Palestine: politics, law, and prospects for peace

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Publication details

JournalGlobal Affairs
DateAccepted/In press - 26 Jul 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 10 Aug 2018
Issue number1
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)1-12
Early online date10/08/18
Original languageEnglish


Sweden’s decision to recognise Palestine on 30 October, 2014, was a controversial one and this article explores two key aspects. First, it contextualises the decision in relation to doctrines about the recognition of states in the international system. Here, the Swedish decision provides further evidence of the growing trend in the 21st century that recognition of new states is primarily determined by politics rather than law. Second, the article examines the decision within the history of Swedish policy towards the conflict. By analysing the position of Sweden’s main political parties and of past governments, it shows that recognition simultaneously represents both continuity and change. While Carl Bildt worked through the EU to achieve progress on the two-state solution, by recognising Palestine Margot Wallström decided to change Swedish foreign policy, and sought to impact European member state positions. The outcome has, however, been limited and much continuity has ensued. Nonetheless, Swedish officials are confident that history will do them justice, despite the current lack of progress.

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