The Correlates of Transatlantic Burden-Sharing: Revising the Agenda for Theoretical and Policy Analysis
19 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2016
Date Written: November 9, 2016
This paper seeks to identify an updated and policy-relevant research agenda for transatlantic defense burden sharing. There is a significant gap between recent work revisiting the burden sharing issue from a public choice perspective and that revisiting it from a security perspective. The public choice perspective seems to have largely ignored much of the new security scholarship, and the new security scholarship reviews the public choice scholarship, but suggests that its relevance is limited. This gap is unfortunate, because states’ decisions on defense spending are likely shaped by a range of factors, including the spending choices of other states as identified in the public choice literature, but also strategic and cultural factors highlighted in the security studies literature, and domestic macroeconomic factors largely absent from either literature. I contend that the factors identified as independent variables in recent qualitative literature are extremely useful analytically, and, fortunately, they have reasonable proxies in available quantitative data that allows us to extend their study to larger groups of countries and longer time periods. Likewise, the public choice perspective continues to provide insights into defense spending choices. Operationalizing new qualitative factors and integrating them into a model that also makes use of canonical public choice variables enables analysis that is more complete. I build on this insight to synthesize the most notable of the factors identified in both literatures, and offer some common ground for analysis that will benefit both scholars and practitioners.
Keywords: NATO, EU, Transatlantic Security, Defense Economics, Burden Sharing, European Security, Strategy
JEL Classification: C01, C12, C13, C21, C26, D74, F50, F51, F52, F53, F55, H56
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation