Does Neutrality Make a Difference? Explaining Patterns of Swiss Defense Spending in 1975-2001

Defense and Peace Economics, Vol. 20, No. 5, pp. 413-422, 2009

26 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2006 Last revised: 16 May 2011

See all articles by Thomas Bernauer

Thomas Bernauer

ETH Zurich

Vally Koubi

University of Bern - Department of Economics

Fabio Ernst

Government of the Swiss Confederation - Swiss Armed Forces Planning Staff

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

We study the behavior of defense spending in Switzerland in 1975-2001. Our main interest is in determining how neutrality in international affairs (non-membership in military alliances) affects defense spending. We find that neutrality is associated with a perception of lower levels of external threat; hence it confers economic benefits in the form of a smaller defense burden. However, neutrality does not fully insulate a country from variations in the level of external threat in the global system as perceived by members of military alliances. Swiss defense spending has tracked very closely the spending trends - but at a lower average level - of the United States and other NATO countries. To the extent post-Cold War threats, such as international terrorism, materialize primarily in the context of existing security alliances, Swiss military spending patterns observed in 1975-2001 are likely to remain the same in the future.

Please read and cite the published version.

Keywords: defense spending, neutrality, alliances, threat, security, Switzerland

Suggested Citation

Bernauer, Thomas and Koubi, Vally and Ernst, Fabio, Does Neutrality Make a Difference? Explaining Patterns of Swiss Defense Spending in 1975-2001 (2006). Defense and Peace Economics, Vol. 20, No. 5, pp. 413-422, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=933072

Thomas Bernauer (Contact Author)

ETH Zurich ( email )

Center for Comparative and International Studies
Building IFW, office 45.1, Haldeneggsteig 4
Zurich 8092, 8092
Switzerland
+41 44 632 6466 (Phone)
+41 44 632 1289 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ib.ethz.ch

Vally Koubi

University of Bern - Department of Economics ( email )

Schanzeneckstrasse 1
Bern, CH-3001
Switzerland

Fabio Ernst

Government of the Swiss Confederation - Swiss Armed Forces Planning Staff ( email )

Switzerland

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