AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

Parliamentary Influence on Arms Export Policy in the Netherlands

by A.B. Blaauw

Institution: Leiden University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Parliamentary influence; Arms export; Foreign policy; Logics of behaviour; Small states; Netherlands
Record ID: 1248700
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/32863


This thesis aims to explain the diverging outcomes in arms export policies with regard to Indonesia and Jordan and examines what effect the Dutch parliament had in bringing about these outcomes. Theoretically, the thesis analyzes the extent to which a logic of appropriateness or a logic of consequences dominates the discourse of a foreign policy decision making process. Through a discourse analysis, it concludes that the use of a logic of appropriateness was prevalent in both discussions. In the Indonesian case these resonated to the human rights criterion of the EU Common Position on Arms Export, but in the case of Jordan such norms had a more distinct cost-benefit character and focused more on regime type, which falls out of the scope of formal EU norms. In evaluating why the argumentative strategies differed, a logic of habit is posited as an explanation: not only did the Indonesian case shape precedent for the cases to follow, but the Netherlands and Indonesia have long historical relationships. In the past, those states often clashed, making a critical stance towards Indonesia more likely. This is not the case for Jordan, which has no such relationship and is situated in a region with other, more worrisome states. This is an important critical observation for the further development of the EU Common Position on Arms Export, which, in coherence with Council Conclusions, and statements and reports by member-states, stresses the assessment of arms export license applications on a case-by-case basis, without taking into account historical ties.