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Title: The many nascent NATOs : studying alliance transformation through the lenses of game theory
Author: Savic, Bojan Z.
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2012
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Mainstream alliance theories have tried to account for the survival of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its ability to adapt to the post-Cold War realities of world politics, most notably the lack of a homogenized external threat. However,' they have not been able to fully account for a surge of NATO's novel practices and discourses of security provision. NATO Member States' decisions to involve extra-alliance public and private actors ' in their missions, or the Alliance's willingness to assume collective security functions are all examples of social phenomena that both Realist and Liberal theories have been unable to account for. While duly acknowledging their contributions, the main source of their limited utility to the study of contemporary NATO has been in how they define the Organization. By black-boxing and a priori defining NATO as an international military alliance, a collective defence arrangement, mainstream alliance theories have unsurprisingly remained silent as to how the Organization can be understood once that its nemesis has imploded. On the other hand, a bulk of scholarly work that focuses on NATO from a "practitioner's" perspective fails to coherently and consistently theorize alterations in NATO's post-1990 practices and discourses of security provision, usually focusing on policy observations and recommendations. This study approaches NATO's post-Cold War alterations in- security provision as a holistic process of structural transformation while remaining cognizant of the limitations in its approach . It defines transformation as long-term and structural changes in NATO (1) as a security provider, (2) in terms of consumers of its security goods and services, (3) as to the Alliance's perceptions of security challenges, risks, and threats, and (4) the nature and scope of means and instruments it uses to attain, maintain and expand security. Furthermore, the study argues that NATO has been differentiated from a unidimensional collective defence organization into a plural institution of security governance composed of five coexisting and non-hierarchical policy dimensions: (1) collective defence, (2) collective security, (3) norm diffusion, (4) facilitation of coalitions of the willing, and (5) generation of public-private security networks. While NATO as an institution of security governance (or "many NATOs") is considered to be an intermediate and variable transformation outcome, this thesis attempts at suggesting an array of policy-areas of Allies' interactions and bargaining (factors) that have arguably driven the process. Without claiming the totality and comprehensiveness of their explanatory power, the study focuses on three key transformation factors: (1) the relative size of individual contributions to NATO's security goods, (2) shifts in alliance size, and (3) the nature of NATO's core security goods. As the research accounts for transformation processes as triggered and driven by interactions, communication and bargaining amongst Allies, it frames their relations as "strategic" and deploys game theoretic tools to account for how intra-alliance politics have reinforced specific policy dimensions in the security governance NATO. Thus, burden sharing will be framed as a public goods game between a generic European ally and the United States, each deciding on their individual contributions to the Alliance's security goods. Enlargement is approached as a complete information veto bargaining relationship whereby Allies bargain over the extent and depth of NATO expansion in the 1990s and 2000s. Finally, post-Cold War practices of security provision are studied as a departure from collective defence through a comparative analysis of two public goods games involving two generic Allies - one whose security preferences were first mediated in NATO during the Cold War, and another Ally who joined the Alliance in 1997 or later. The conclusion ponders the holistic meaning of transformation and the consistent application of game theory to its inquiry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available