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Interdependence, Asymmetric Crises and European Defence Cooperation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Security
Early online date1 Mar 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Mar 2017


King's Authors


Although international crises are often believed to represent
windows of opportunity to strengthen European defence
cooperation, recent crises have not seemed to produce a clear
convergence of European Union (EU) member states’ security
interests. This article seeks to address this puzzle by arguing that
European defence cooperation is a response to crises that place
European states in a situation of military interdependence.
Conversely, asymmetric crises, i.e. crises that affect European
states unevenly, encourage those states to maintain their
autonomy of action. This theoretical argument is supported by
two case studies: the failure of the European Defence Community
in the early 1950s and the current difficulties experienced by the
EU’s military operations. These two cases illustrate a striking
continuity in that, because of (neo)colonial ties in particular,
European states are often unevenly affected by international
crises, which tends to make defence cooperation less effective.

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