Nonalignment, Principle of

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nonalignment, Principle of


a basis for the foreign policy of a state in peacetime that assumes the state will refuse to be aligned with military blocs and will not permit its territory to be used for the military bases of foreign countries. In political writing and international law the principle of nonalignment is also called the policy of positive neutrality or neutralism.

The principle of nonalignment as a significant phenomenon in international politics developed only after World War II (1939–45). This development was fostered by the formation of a large number of new independent states, many of which chose the principle of nonalignment as the basis of their foreign policy after proclaiming their political independence.

The legal basis of the principle of nonalignment is usually an appropriate unilateral declaration by the state. The states that have chosen the policy of nonalignment are often called the nonaligned countries. Among them is a large group of countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, as well as several European countries. The political goals that have been set forth at a number of conferences of nonaligned countries include peace throughout the world; the struggle against colonialism, neocolonialism, and racism; and international cooperation among all countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. Conferences of nonaligned countries have been held since 1961. Representatives of 80 states as well as delegations from national liberation movements took part in the fourth conference of the heads of state and government of the nonaligned countries in Algeria in 1973.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.