University of Lisbon, Portugal, 1-4 September 2019
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Panel 105: The Long Winding Road of European Defence
Europe’s Long Peace: Robust, Contingent or Fragile?
University College Cork, Ireland
This paper will explore prospects for peace – especially great power peace – in Europe, in light of competing theoretical perspectives and evidence from the three decades since the end of the Cold War. In terms of great power relations, the period since 1945 is one of the longest, in modern European history - borrowing from John Lewis Gaddis we may describe this as Europe’s long peace. This paper will argue that Europe’s long peace should be understood as two distinct sets of relations: the peace within the Western security community and the relationship between the West and Russia. The paper will argue that peace within the Western security community is underpinned by a very wide range of factors: this peace is unlikely to break down and should be viewed as robust. In contrast, the relationship between the West and Russia since the end of the Cold War has never been one in which war has moved entirely off the map of political possibilities. Nonetheless, even in the Russian-Western relationship important factors militate against war: peace between the two sides should be viewed as contingent rather than fragile.
European Strategic Culture in Search of Policy Entrepreneurs
International University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The call for a ’robust strategic culture’, a key part of the 2003 European Security Strategy, was conspicuously absent from the 2016 EU Global Strategy, giving way to the much more limited ambition of ‘a measure of strategic autonomy’. While this could be considered a bow to reality, it also signals an acknowledgement that the EU’s ambitions in this field have stalled, and cannot be resurrected for the foreseeable future. Since 2016, initiatives within the EU have been limited to the defence industry and to R&D (PESCO), while the debates on strategic culture have mainly continued outside the EU framework, and mostly based on enhanced cooperation between smaller groups of countries (European Intervention Initiative, E2I). At the same time, the EU’s activity level in the military fields has been declining since 2010.
To account for these developments, this paper proposes first of all that the intergovernmental nature of EU policymaking in the realms of foreign, security and defence policy, and the ‘lowest common denominator’ approach, makes the needed ‘learning from experience’ impossible to the degree needed at the European level for a true EU strategic culture to emerge. Secondly, it argues that in the absence of supranational actors, or, as the neofunctionalists would have called them, ‘policy entrepreneurs’, vested with real autonomy and with the competence to define and articulate the EU interests, and force the member states to decisions, and foster Europe-wide public debate on first-order issues, the EU will never be able to develop a meaningful strategic culture. And if strategic culture remains out of reach, the EU will remain at best a partial actor in the ‘high politics’ fields.
Institutions are what you make of them: Ad hoc-ism and Military Interventions
1Norwegian Institute of International Affairs; 2Maastricht University, Belgium
On 25 June 2018, nine European countries launched the European Intervention Initiative (EI2). The EI2, an idea raised by France, intends to gather the most willing European countries to further develop their capacities to jointly shoulder military activities, either within the EU and NATO frameworks or as an ad hoc coalition. The EI2 is just one illustration of the recent institutional proliferation in the domain of military security. In this paper, we argue that the increasingly thick web of global, regional and sub-regional security organizations and arrangements is creating fertile ground for more ad hocism in military operations. Theoretically, this paper departs from Daniel Drezner’s notion of ‘forum-shopping’. Following a rational-choice institutionalist logic, we argue that not only does institutional proliferation increase the chances of forum-shopping, it also prepares the ground for increasing ad hocism. Empirically, this paper builds upon a comparative study of the crises in the Lake Chad region and Mali. In this way, we show how regional ad hoc coalitions are an increasingly frequent feature of military responses, often in bilateral or multilateral partnerships, such as the Force Intervention Brigade, the Multinational Joint Task Force, and the Joint Force of the Group of Five Sahel. We illustrate how states apply a pick-and-chose approach in which institutional constructs, but not the end products are used – interoperable forces, a common culture, mainstreamed doctrine, but not the formal deployment of institutional frameworks developed for military operations. Following these observations, we claim that institutional proliferation in the field of military rapid response, and in international security more in general, facilitates a pragmatist approach mainly inspired by national self-interest, which may threaten the liberal underpinning of these institutions.
Determinants of Defense Spending: a TSCS Analysis of EU Member States
1Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania; 2Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University, Lithuania
The paper investigates different types of influences on defense spending of the 28 member states of the European Union, based on a TSCS data (1990–2017). Definite conclusions on what drives defense spending have proved elusive, especially regarding democracies and the post-Cold War period. Most recent developments in the field have been based on either a regional-specific approach, or internal dynamics of socio-political forces, based on larger cross-region samples. The first strand of research remains uninterested in democracies, as these lack strategic dynamics across time; furthermore, it is motivated by geo-political stability and sustainable development concerns, and, hence, is interested in developing countries. The second strand gives priority to one category of explanatory variables, such as institutional or ideological, while empirical analyses based on a comprehensive approach “combining all of the plausible” explanations are not only possible, but also desired (Dunne & Perlo-Freeman, 2001). The paper integrates diverse categories of independent variables (ideological, economic, strategic, institutional). We find, e.g., that NATO membership has a positive impact on military expenditure, but its effect is moderated by spending of other members of the Alliance; reflecting free-riding logics (rather than emulation), being a NATO member is more positively associated with spending when other members spend less. Generally, military expenditure in EU MSs appears to be determined by external independent variables rather than the domestic ones. Furthermore, some conclusions differing significantly from previous studies on the pre-2004 EU member states (see Nikolaidou, 2008 on free-riding vs. “follower” behavior) suggest the need for further research.