Pillar or Pole? The Effect of Strategic Culture on Burden Sharing and the Future of NATO

44 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2013 Last revised: 3 Oct 2013

See all articles by Jordan Becker

Jordan Becker

King's College London; United States Military Academy, Department of Social Science; Vesalius College; Free University of Brussels (VUB)-Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Institute for European Studies, Students

Edmund J. Malesky

Duke University, Political Science

Date Written: October 1, 2013

Abstract

Policy discussions on transatlantic security frequently focus on the topic of burden sharing, highlighting the imbalance between U.S. and European military expenditures. Alliance scholarship in the fields of international security and political economy offers plausible explanations for this imbalance, based on the perspectives of “balance of threat,” “institutional adaptation,” “security communities,” and “collective action.” We provide a theoretical explanation for states’ resource allocation choices that challenges each of these approaches on their own ground, arguing that a “strategic culture” perspective offers a more compelling explanation of resource allocation choices than any of the dominant approaches. We argue that the more states articulate their national security strategy in “Atlanticist” terms, the more likely they are to allocate resources to military operations. This is primarily because such an Atlanticist strategic approach implies that a state shares the United States’ conception of a stable, sustainable international order, and is willing to devote resources to maintaining that order, even when their own immediate territorial security is not at risk. We find evidence for this argument by using a content analysis of ninety-five national security strategy documents of NATO member states, and assessing the correlation between a state’s “Atlanticism” and its allocation of financial resources to military operations, as opposed to personnel, infrastructure, or equipment expenditures.

Keywords: burden sharing, strategic culture, NATO, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, operations, Atlanticist, Europeanist

JEL Classification: D74

Suggested Citation

Becker, Jordan and Malesky, Edmund J., Pillar or Pole? The Effect of Strategic Culture on Burden Sharing and the Future of NATO (October 1, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2333290 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2333290

Jordan Becker (Contact Author)

King's College London ( email )

King's College London Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

United States Military Academy, Department of Social Science ( email )

600 Thayer Rd
West Point, NY 10996
United States

Vesalius College ( email )

Pleinlaan 2
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium

Free University of Brussels (VUB)-Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Institute for European Studies, Students ( email )

Ixelles
Belgium

Edmund J. Malesky

Duke University, Political Science ( email )

140 Science Drive (Gross Hall), 2nd floor
Duke University Mailcode: 90204
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
113
Abstract Views
965
rank
268,421
PlumX Metrics