Stretching the Model of Coalitions of the Willing

31 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2005

See all articles by Andrew Cooper

Andrew Cooper

Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI); University of Waterloo

Date Written: October 2005


Two models may be draw up of coalitions of the willing. The first model is epitomized by the group of countries assembled by the United States for the mobilization of the 2003 Iraq war. The second model is the form of coalition associated with the anti-personnel landmines campaign and the initiative on the International Criminal Court in the mid to late 1990s. This paper will explore the relationship between these different types of coalitions. The former type is characterized by a top-down, state-centric, and coerced/opportunistic strategic form. The latter type by way of contrast takes a bottom-up, voluntary, mixed actor, diplomatic approach. Yet, along side these differences are some striking, but unanticipated similarities. Most dramatically, both types have been assembled on an intense stylistic basis with an eye to avoiding the frustrations associated with working via established institutions. By looking more closely at the external expression and inner workings of these modes of activity, the model of coalitions of the willing is stretched out in terms of their motivations, sense of ownership, and future trajectory.

Keywords: diplomacy, coalitions, governance

Suggested Citation

Cooper, Andrew, Stretching the Model of Coalitions of the Willing (October 2005). Available at SSRN: or

Andrew Cooper (Contact Author)

Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI) ( email )

57 Erb Street West
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6C2

University of Waterloo

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1

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