Neutrality is a situation where a state does not participate in war on behalf of other
countries where the said state remains impartial. The countries who do not practice neutrality are
bound to recognize neutral countries’ policies. International law provides rights and duties that
are recognized by both belligerents and neutral countries. Neutralist states can also act as
diplomats on behalf of other neutralist countries and belligerents.
Neutral states are expected to be unbiased and provide independent dialogue whenever
needed. For instance, Switzerland’s foreign policy is fundamentally based on Swiss neutrality.
The foreign policy states that Switzerland should not involve itself with other states’ conflicts. It
is designed to promote peace, and guarantee external security as the policy is constant, armed,
and self-imposed. In case of a conflict, a neutral party is viewed as a party with no conflict of
interest and is expected to operate without prejudice. However, there have been criticisms n the
philosophical aspect of neutrality. Woodrow Wilson for instance stated that, neutralism does not
express the American culture as they are focused on preserving the foundations based on
Just like any other philosophy, neutrality essentially has a theoretical background. On the
aspect of political behavior, the traditional attitude theory is considered. However, it is flawed. It
is unable to differentiate the two types of neutralism; indifference which is described as lack of
either effect and ambivalence which is explained as the balance of negative and positive effect. A
most recent theory on attitudes clarifies that individuals can give both positive and negative
opinions both independently and simultaneously. This theory is two-dimensional as people with
an indifferent attitude essentially differ from those with an ambivalent attitude. However, I think
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that ambivalent individuals are most likely to participate in voting than indifferent citizens. The
latter are politically unbiased hence being politically conflicted does not cause any barrier during
Neutrality has had a tremendous effect on both the world’s political, academic, and
economic aspect. Through neutralism, the United Nations Charter passed a law that promoted the
non-refoulement principle that banned states from returning asylum seekers back to their
countries where they would be in danger of persecution due to their religion, nationality, political
affiliation, race, and membership of social groups (Schindler, n.d.) . In business, with the aid of
Switzerland, through the European Union, the state’s main goal was to promote free circulation
of industrial goods within western Europe which in turn led to the signing od the Free Trade
Agreement (FTA) (Schindler, n.d.) .
On the academic aspect, principles of neutrality state that educational authorities, schools,
and teachers ought to be neutral. According to interviews and personal experiences, the question
of whether schools can become neutral comes up. However, it is next to impossible for schools
to remain neutral as the educational development of students is different (Kleinig, 1976) . This
comes in form of both curricula and extra curricula activities. Whenever decisions pertaining the
latter are made, the concept of neutrality diminishes. Neutrality in higher education has been a
milestone. Problems such as racial segregation, harassment, and discrimination are mainly
handled internally (Shining the Spotlight on Higher Education and the Need for Neutrality (Paid
Content by JAMS from The Chronicle of Higher Education), 2018) . By embracing neutrality, the latter
entity can give a wide range of solutions as the third party is neutral.
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The neutralist culture can also have links with other intercultural concepts. For instance,
in international business, both logic (reason) and emotion are fundamental. The importance of
these two aspects is based on our ability to be either neutral (not emotional) or affective
(emotional). Individuals whose values are based on neutrality, are rarely emotional and can easy
control their feelings (Affective/Neutral, n.d.) . People who are affective on the other hand, are
openly emotional and could easily express themselves through crying, laughing, scowling, or
leaving a room. Not all cultures practice neutralism, as states such as; Indonesia, the United
Kingdom, Japan, Netherlands, and Norway do not respond well to emotion. However, the United
States, France, Singapore, and Italy openly embrace the affective culture.
Both the emotion and reason are part of human communication however differential they
are culturally as individuals express themselves by understanding other people’s feelings and
In summary, neutrality is whereby a state does not take part in war with or on behalf of
other states. Neutralism is clearly seen in Switzerland where it has been practices since 1515.
Through this practice they were able to evade the consequences of the first and second world war
and the cold war. Through their neutrality, humanitarian laws have been put in place to maintain
international peace. The main aim of this paper was to capture the cultural aspect of neutrality.
The latter is also linked with other intercultural experiences as mentioned above. An example of
logic and emotion has also been extensively explained to link neutrality with other cultures. Just
like every cultural concept, neutrality’s concept is based on the attitude theory which explains
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that neutral individuals can independently have both positive and negative opinions. Neutrality
has had a huge effect on global view on education, politics, and business. Through the
humanitarian law, human rights are protected. Also, brought about the Free Trade Agreement.
However, the academic aspect cannot be neutral as this would affect the current academic
prospect. It is evident that neutralism will never be an irrelevant cultural and political concept.
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Affective/Neutral. (n.d.). InterCultural English. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.ic-
Kleinig, J. (1976). Principles of Neutrality in Education. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 8(2), 1–16.
Schindler, D. (n.d.). Neutrality and Morality: Developments in Switzerland and in the International
Shining the Spotlight on Higher Education and the Need for Neutrality (Paid Content by JAMS from The
Chronicle of Higher Education). (2018, November 19). The Chronicle of Higher Education.