Soft power through Responsibility to Protect: a small state's foreign policy strategy : a study of Norwegian foreign policy and R2P in the context of the civil wars in Libya and Syria
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The purpose of this thesis is to investigate in what way the normative principle of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is reflected in Norwegian foreign policy. It is also an aim of this thesis to look at how the different actors, internal and external to Norway, affect foreign policy behaviour. The nature of the study is qualitative, and its data are gathered from document analysis from the government, media and civil society. The research has been approached through a theoretical framework based on globalization, soft power theory and small state foreign policy behaviour. Due to the lack of material capabilities, soft power is the main strategy available for Norway. Small state foreign policy behaviour theory emphasises that small states must take into account certain considerations due to being small. The two theories help to explain Norwegian behaviour towards the civil wars in Libya and Syria. The main argument of the thesis is that due to Norway’s self-image as a humanitarian super power and a human rights advocate, the principle of R2P should in theory be embraced in all foreign relations situations. However, as the cases of the civil wars in Libya and Syria show, this has not been the case. This is explained by the fact that Norway is a small state that behaves accordingly in international relations. Instead, Norway follows the decisions made at the UN level due to the fact that Norway depends on multi-lateral organizations when conducting foreign policies, and hence when participating in humanitarian interventions legitimized by R2P.