Frontiers of Law, Political Science and Art

European Union and the Neutrality


Spillane J. K and Lukumon O. A

Switzerland remains a neutral state outside of the European Union (EU). This paper examines realist, liberal, and constructivist theories of neutrality to explain Switzerland’s unwillingness to join the EU after the cold war. Five other neutral states have decided to participate in the EU while maintaining their neutrality. The continued Swiss reluctance is best explained by a historic identity that the Swiss perceive is threatened by membership in the EU. Realism’s focus on great power politics and state’s pursuit of power offers little to explain Swiss neutrality. Liberalism offers an explanation for the enticement of membership, but it is constructivism that explains both the nature of Swiss neutrality and its continuing ability to shape Swiss foreign policy by preventing membership in the EU.


Share this article

Get the App