The Programmatic and Institutional (Re-)Configuration of the Swiss National Security Field
- Journal Article
Traditionally, Swiss national security focused intimately on the military protection of national territory and institutions. Following the principles of armed neutrality and autonomous defense, the field was organized closely by the Defense Ministry and shied away from sizable international security partnerships. Since the end of the Cold War, however, the policy domain has moved far beyond such positions. It expanded from military and civil defense to activities such as integrated peace‐building, the fight against transnational organized crime, integrated border management, and critical infrastructure protection. This programmatic reorientation was accompanied by new institutional arrangements. Domestically, inter‐cantonal and federal policing were enhanced and intelligence services integrated. Army capabilities were directed to new mandates and new countrywide inter‐ministerial coordination platforms developed. Internationally, Switzerland joined the Partnership for Peace, Euro‐Atlantic Partnership Council, United Nations, and Schengen/Dublin frameworks. Despite these profound changes, Swiss security politics has not been subjected to particularly refined analysis. While government doctrines list threats and agencies with little pondering of their relevance and interconnections, political analysts are often caught up in polarized controversies around select issues such as the army budget, distinct weapons procurement programs, or neutrality tout court. Yet, also academia contributed surprisingly little to shedding light on the executive arm of the Swiss security field. Show more
Journal / seriesSwiss Political Science Review
Pages / Article No.
Organisational unit03515 - Wenger, Andreas / Wenger, Andreas
143818 - Bound to cooperate? Mapping Swiss security in a changing global landscape (SNF)
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