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НазваThe Constants of Dutch Foreign Policy (реферат)
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Реферат на тему:

 

The Constants of Dutch Foreign Policy

 

Peace, Profits and Principles is the catchy alliterative title of a

book on Dutch foreign policy by Joris Voorhoeve, one-time parliamentary

leader of the VVD (1986-90). Under these three headings he sought to

analyse the major traditions of this foreign policy, which he defined as

'maritime commercialism' 'neutralist abstentionism' and

'internationalist idealism'. Others have objected to the concept of

traditions in this respect, even arguing that the Dutch have

insufficient historic sense for traditions. Such authors prefer to speak

of tendencies, themes, or constants, and some of them have amended or

enlarged Voorhoeve's list. On closer inspection, however, the themes

mentioned by other authors remain closely related to the clusters of

attitudes mentioned by Voorhoeve. There is also little disagreement

concerning the origins of such tendencies or traditions.

 

Both the size and geographical location of the country have left their

imprint on the country's external relations. The Dutch domestic market

being quite small but ideally located to serve as a gateway to the

European hinterland, the Netherlands came to rely on maritime trade.

This has brought an Atlantic perspective to its foreign policy,

sometimes bordering on anti-continentalism. Already in the seventeenth

century, Pieter de la Court, a Leyden merchant and political scientist,

advocated creating a wide swathe of water to the cast of the province of

Holland, to separate it from the European continent. As late as the

1950s the Dutch Foreign Office proclaimed: ' The Netherlands cannot

exist without Europe, but it is a continental European nation neither in

its history, nor in its character.' Despite altercations with the

British first, and despite irritation over American pressure to

decolonise later, the Netherlands has continued to rely on these two

extra-continental powers. This reliance is due partly to the importance

of maritime trade, but also to the desire to have a countervailing power

to the dominant state on the continent, be it German or French.

 

The significance of trade for the Dutch economy has also led to another

of Voorhoeve's traditions, 'neutralist abstentionism', a set of

preferences described by others as 'economic pacifism'; it is a

reluctance to accept changes in the status quo, or downright

conservatism. The Dutch colonial empire could not be defended

adequately, and was therefore best protected by a neutralist policy. The

flow of commerce was best served by an opportunistic abstention from

European power politics. Any disturbance of the balance of power could

be detrimental to trade, and was therefore deplored. The Netherlands has

been described as a 'satisfied nation', quite happy with things as they

are in the world. After 1945 the failure of neutralism as a security

strategy was recognised by Dutch politicians and the public alike, and

the joining of the Atlantic Alliance has been interpreted as an

unequivocal abandonment of the neutralist tradition. Other observers,

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