Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Cultural dialogue and the Western Alliance : revaluing NATO through the thought of Philip Windsor
Author: Crow, Alexis
ISNI:       0000 0004 2680 1906
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: 2009
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
The aim of this thesis is to employ a specific idea of the late Philip Windsor - that of a cultural dialogue based upon the distinction between norms and values - and apply it to NATO in a contemporary context. According to Windsor, all societies translate their foundational values into norms: as such, a norm is a cultural expression of a value. While some cultures share the same values, they inevitably differ in the interpretations of those values. Thus, a cultural dialogue can take place if actors distinguish between their shared values, and the varying 'normatisations' of those values. Extended to NATO, although its members are united by a set of common Western values, they often clash in their expression of those values. For example, as General Sir Mike Jackson claimed, 'We must fight with the Americans but not as the Americans'. Why with the Americans? Because of these shared values. Why not as the Americans? Because Britons and Americans fight wars differently, and these differing ways of warfare are in accordance with different norms. Yet as this thesis argues, if NATO members engage in a dialogue which recognises this distinction, they can dynamically contribute to the re-invention of the Alliance in the twenty-first century. As such, this thesis seeks to make a contribution to the current debates surrounding NATO's purpose in the post-Cold War - and post 9/11 - world. Indeed, while many scholars and policy-makers question NATO's relevance, it shall be argued here that despite the lack of mutual interests or a common existential threat, NATO can re-invent itself via a cultural dialogue and a 'revaluation of values.' In cultivating an internal dialogue, Allies can seriously debate the differing cultural expressions of their values. And yet, they must also consistently undergo a 'revaluation' of the values which enhance life in their own societies, and which unite them in an Alliance. However, given the complex nature of the contemporary strategic environment, NATO members will inevitably need to act outside of the North Atlantic area. Indeed, as security is increasingly defined in terms of 'risks' rather than 'threats', Allies are faced with complex challenges which are transnational in origin and global in reach. Consequently, they will need to engage in an external dialogue with others - such as Russia and Pakistan - in order to combat these risks. Yet they cannot do so based upon the assumption that these values are universal. Thus, it is crucial for NATO members to acknowledge that their Western values are not 'exportable', and cannot be imposed upon other societies. Though their values provide a steadfast common ground within the Alliance, they do not provide a shared framework for dialogue outside of the North Atlantic area. In sum, this thesis seeks to make a timely contribution to the debates about NATO's future, and concludes that via a cultural dialogue and a revaluation of values, the Alliance can re-invent itself in the twenty-first century. Although there are other ways in which commonality and discord within NATO have been expressed - such as Karl Deutsch's depiction of an 'amalgamated' vs. a 'pluralistic' security community, and G.M. Dillon's adaptation of Oakeshott's categories of 'civil' and 'enterprise' association - this thesis argues that Windsor's idea of a cultural dialogue based upon the distinction between norms and values offers a unique insight into the potential re-invention of the Alliance, and thereby seeks to make a valuable contribution to the debates about NATO's future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available