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From NATO to ESDP: A Social Constructivist Analysis of German Strategic Adjustment after the End of the Cold War

Berenskoetter, Felix and Giegerich, Bastian (2010) 'From NATO to ESDP: A Social Constructivist Analysis of German Strategic Adjustment after the End of the Cold War.' Security Studies, 19 (3). pp. 407-452.

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Abstract

This article addresses the question why Germany invested in what became the European Union’s Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), a potential competitor to NATO. In addition to highlighting Germany’s role in the development of ESDP, it offers a social constructivist explanation for this investment based on the concepts of friendship, estrangement, and emancipation. It develops the argument that (1) states gain ontological security by investing in international institutions to negotiate and pursue ideas of order with friends; (2) deep and enduring dissonance between friends signifies a process of estrangement and poses a threat to ontological security; and (3) if states cannot restore resonance with the old friend-institution configuration, they choose a strategy of emancipation by investing in an alternative. Applied to an analysis of German strategic adjustments between 1990 and 2009 in the context of U.S.-led interventions in Iraq, the Balkans, and Afghanistan, the article suggests that Germany invested in ESDP to offset enduring dissonance with the United States and NATO about appropriate mandate, missions, and means, with France and ESDP emerging as a suitable alternative. With this, the article offers valuable insights into the parameters guiding German security policy and the structure of transatlantic relations and also provides a theoretical alternative to the realist balancing proposition.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Politics and International Studies
Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD)
ISSN: 1556185
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1080/09636412.2010.505128
Depositing User: Felix Berenskoetter
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2010 09:12
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/10357

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