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NATO and the future of European security

Sean Imrie Kay, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This dissertation examines the general proposition that formal international institution promote national security in Europe. Analytically, the features of international institutions are the independent variables and the degree of security is the dependent variable. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the primary focus of the analysis. The project draws from realist and institutionalist approaches to the study of international relations to assess what institutional characteristics of NATO have developed over time which may contribute to national security into the 21st century. The dissertation is organized into seven chapters. The empirical research is based on primary and secondary sources including personal interviews conducted with senior policy makers and academic sources in Europe and the US ongoing since 1991. The dissertation is divided into seven chapters including a theoretical and methodological overview; the origins of NATO; NATO during the Cold War; NATO's post-Cold War institutional adaptation (including the Partnership for Peace and the Balkan crisis); NATO enlargement; and NATO's internal transformation and the future of the transatlantic relationship. This dissertation moves the debate over the relationship between international institutions and security in international relations theory. The general conclusion is that variations in institutional form can have a dramatic impact on the degree of security, positive or negative, in the European context and that a major test of that claim is coming in the next several decades.

Subject Area

International law|International relations

Recommended Citation

Kay, Sean Imrie, "NATO and the future of European security" (1997). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9737549.