Danish Defence Research Database


Danmarks deltagelse i Operation Barkhane: Dansk udenrigs- og sikkerhedspolitisk aktivisme anno 2019

Student thesis: Diploma Thesis

  • Lasse Tim Marvig Sørensen
Afgangsprojekt, (Diploma)
This thesis aims to understand which variables effect Danish foreign and security policy through the scope of neoclassical realism. The analysis studies the Danish government’s (2016-2019) motion to make a Danish contribution to the French counterterror operation Barkhane in the Sahel. The design of the analysis allows the thesis to examine the effect of intervening variables such as leader perceptions, resource-extraction capacity and strategic culture on foreign policy.
In order to study the intervening variables the analysis is separated into three parts. The first part uses cognitive mapping to map out the government’s leader perception of changes in the international system, and which means can be used by the government in order to avoid certain types of threats. The second part analyses the financial foundation for a Danish military contribution, the general opinion of the Danish people towards military involvement as well as whether or not the Danish contribution comply with the requirements for Danish military involvement, which is shown throughout the Danish history of military contributions. The third part seeks to capture the strategic culture of Denmark through an open coding of central policy documents.
The overall findings of the analysis show that leader perceptions as well as resourceextraction capacity are central in shaping the motion of a Danish contribution to Operation Barkhane. Meanwhile the analysis does not fully find the expected connection between strategic culture and foreign policy that neoclassical realism suggests. Which consequences the discrepancy has for neoclassical realism is pivotal for the discussion, that suggests a new way of thinking about the influence of strategic culture on foreign policy in future neoclassical realistic research.
Publication date10 Oct 2019
Number of pages53
Publishing institutionHærens Officersskole
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