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OUTSIDE NATO AND THE EU: SUB-REGIONAL DEFENCE CO-OPERATION IN EUROPE

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

I am studying why European nations have created new sub-regional Multinational Defence Co-operations (MDCs) in the last couple of years, instead of using the existing NATO and EU institutional frameworks for military collaboration. By applying the multiple-case study research method elaborated by Robert K. Yin, I investigated three cases: the Central European Defence Co-operation, the British- French ‘Lancaster House Treaties’ and the Nordic Defence Co-operation. In this framework I tested three rival explanations using the method of pattern matching, which means that I generated predicted patterns regarding the studied phenomena and compared them to empirically based patterns. The three rival explanations I compared regarding the creation of new sub-regional MDCs were 1) the lack of progress on pan-European/Transatlantic defence cooperation 2) the impacts of the financial crisis, 3) different emerging shared threat perceptions of European states. This research framework provided the opportunity to close certain explanations out, and helped to develop the empirically based patterns concerning every case that could convincingly explain the three studied cases individually. These empirically based patterns helped to develop a generic framework that describes the circumstances, which encouraged the launch of the studied sub-regional MDCs. The thesis concludes that two main structural and two main situational factors played the most significant roles in the creation of the MDCs. The structural factors are ‘previous defence collaborations between the participating states’ and ‘similar perception about certain defence related EU/NATO processes and initiatives’. The situational factors are ‘strong leadership of a group of enthusiastic high-level officials and good interpersonal chemistry among them’ and ‘supportive political milieu towards sub-regional multinational defence cooperation’.
Original languageEnglish
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Award date2017

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