I demokratiet og menneskehedens navn

Niels Møller

Student thesis: Master thesis


In the recent decades Denmark has been engaged in interventions in the Balkans and wars in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. After the end of the cold war Denmark no longer had to balance its foreign and security policy between the policies of Soviet Union and the United States and after the 11th of September Denmark had an incentive to demonstrate its loyal support to the United States. This master thesis will show that it is difficult to decide whether a war is a legitimate or illegitimate and it will show that in the case of the war against Iraq it was difficult for the Danish Parliament to agree upon the basic principles of how to decide on the legitimacy of war. The Danish Parliament was divided into two almost equally big blocs of parties and in the disagreement about the war the Parliament found itself disagreeing about the definitions and understanding of humanitarian issues, sovereignty and democracy. The analysis is divided into three parts. First I will analyze democracy, sovereignty and the humanitarian aspects of the debate in a discourse analysis. Secondly I will analyze the relations between the proponents and opponents of the war in Iraq. Thirdly I will analyze the results of the discourse analysis in an analysis of historical understandings of democracy and sovereignty. The thesis suggests that there is a lack of clarity of the legitimacy of wars and that it is problematic that the Danish Parliament has severe difficulties in debating about the Iraq war without leaning towards antagonistic moral agendas. Further it suggests that the proponents and opponents are in a deadlock concerning the political issues of the war in Iraq.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages81