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Title: The Atlantic Alliance as a risk community and the implications for transatlantic security cooperation
Author: Williams, Michael John.
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2006
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Since the end of the Cold War observers have noted that the United States and Europe have slowly drifted apart. While a number of issues have divided the close allies - from trade to environmental concerns - of particular interest is the changing calculus of transatlantic security cooperation. Realists predicted the demise of transatlantic security cooperation, constructivists and institutions theorized that it would carry on. While initially it seemed that the latter were correct, since the late 1990s realist predications would seem to be born out. Closer observation, however, reveals that while the US and Europe are not seeing eye-to-eye, the North Atlantic area is not returning to balance of power politics either. This thesis hypothesizes that the best explanation for the rift in transatlantic relations is embodied in the sociological theory of the Risk Society. As the West moves from modernity to late modernity, societies become increasingly obsessed with risks. At the international level this obsession is evident as well. During the 1990s, NATO classified its greatest 'threat' as "security challenges and risks." This dissertation reviews the literature on the transatlantic community to identify the weak points in current explanations of the conflict. It draws upon the most cutting edge work in IR related to the Risk Society thesis and uses this literature as the basis to further develop the concept of risk and a new model of security cooperation in the Risk Society. The second half of the thesis examines three cases of Western military intervention - Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq - to assess if the West acted in accord with a security paradigm articulated upon risk and, if so, what are the implications for transatlantic security cooperation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available