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Challenge or Confi rmation?

The Role of the Swedish Parliament in the Decision-making on the Use of Force

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image of Nordic Journal of International Law

The Swedish parliament has a strong position in the decision-making on the international use of force. Still, its role is affected by the rapid internationalization of the Swedish defence. More and quicker decisions have to be taken on Swedish contributions to international peace operations. The origin of the decisions of the Swedish parliament, moreover, can be traced to international decision-making bodies on which the Swedish parliament and sometimes even the Swedish government have no influence at all. Parliament is conscious of its important role and looks after its interests in the domestic decision-making context. Sometimes it challenges the government on specific issues relating to the operations, but in the end parliament always tend to agree and unanimously as well. This article studies the involvement of the Swedish parliament in the decision-making on the contribution of armed troops to international peace operations since the end of the Cold War. The article gives particular attention to the use – or not – of the law delegating the decision-making power over troop contributions entirely to the government. The issue of self-defence against armed attacks on the Realm is also taken up and the potential impact of an expanded notion of self-defence on the decision-making role of parliament. Concerns of democratic accountability form the background to the reasoning in its entirety.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of Public International Law, Uppsala University, Sweden


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