Theorising NATO: New perspectives on the Atlantic alliance (Hardback) book cover

Theorising NATO

New perspectives on the Atlantic alliance

Edited by Mark Webber, Adrian Hyde-Price

© 2016 – Routledge

208 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2017-10-28
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Scholarship on NATO is often preoccupied with key episodes in the development of the organisation and so, for the most part, has remained inattentive to theory.

This book addresses that gap in the literature. It provides a comprehensive analysis of NATO through a range of theoretical perspectives that includes realism, liberalism and constructivism, and lesser-known approaches centred on learning, public goods, securitisation and risk. Focusing on NATO’s post-Cold War development, it considers the conceptualisation, purpose and future of the Alliance.

This bookwill be of interest to students and scholars of international organisation, international relations, security and European Politics.


"Theorising NATO is a useful exercise, worth reading for students and scholars of both NATO and IR theory. For NATO specialists, Webber and Hyde-Price’s book provides new answers to old questions – especially the ones connected to NATO’s persistence in the post-Cold War era. Both Flockhart’s constructivist analysis and the contribution on securitisation by Gabi Schlag (Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg) offer answers to this question that are not superficial. For IR theory enthusiasts, Theorising NATO attests concretely to the importance of theory in International Relations and provides a practical and powerful demonstration that multiple theoretical points of view can coexist and reinforce one another harmoniously, if considered with sufficient analytical eclecticism."

Federico Palmieri, Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), The International Spectator

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: is NATO a theory-free zone? Mark Webber 2 Theorising NATO Adrian Hyde-Price 3 NATO and the European security system: a neo-realist analysis Adrian Hyde-Price 4 Neo-classical realism and alliance politics James Sperling 5 NATO and institutional theories of international relations Frank Schimmelfennig 6 NATO and liberal International Relations theory Benjamin Pohl 7 Understanding NATO through constructivist theorizing Trine Flockhart 8 Securitization theory and the evolution of NATO Gabi Schlag 9 NATO and the risk society: modes of Alliance representation since 1991 Michael J. Williams 10 NATO – a public goods provider Jens Ringsmose 11 Learning the hard way: NATO's Civil-Military Cooperation Jörg Noll and Sebastiaan Rietjens

About the Editors

Mark Webber is Professor of International Politics and Head of the School of Government and Society at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Adrian Hyde-Price is Professor of Political Science at Gothenburg University, Sweden.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General