Sweden Struggles to Balance Defense Sales, Rights Concerns

Saab JAS-39 Gripen fight jet at the Royal International Air Tattoo, Gloucestershire, U.K., July 21, 2013 (photo by FLickr user jez_b licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license).
Saab JAS-39 Gripen fight jet at the Royal International Air Tattoo, Gloucestershire, U.K., July 21, 2013 (photo by FLickr user jez_b licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license).

In March, Sweden abruptly decided not to renew a five-year defense industry cooperation deal with Saudi Arabia, amid a diplomatic spat after Sweden’s foreign minister criticized Riyadh over its human rights record. The controversy led to headlines around the world and exposed the tension for Sweden, the world’s 12th-largest arms exporter, between promoting global defense sales and advancing democracy and human rights. But this is far from a new issue for Stockholm, and given the worsening security climate in Europe, the Saudi episode is unlikely to change minds in Sweden about the need to export defense equipment, even to non-democracies. […]

Keep reading for free right now!

Enter your email to get instant access to the rest of this article, get five free articles every 30 days, and to receive our free email newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Become a member now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Weekly in-depth reports, including features on important countries and issues.
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you — right now for just $1 for the first 30 days.

More World Politics Review