The continent or the "grand large"? Strategic culture and operational burden-sharing in NATO

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We argue that NATO allies exhibiting more "Atlanticist" strategic cultures allocate a greater share of their defense resources to Alliance priorities than those exhibiting "Europeanist" strategic cultures. Our analysis builds on policy discussions regarding imbalances in burden-sharing in transatlantic security. Scholarship in the fields of international security and political economy offers plausible explanations for these imbalances, but does not address how allies allocate resources within defense budgets and does not statistically test effects of cultural variables on such decisions. Using evidence from 89 national security strategy documents of 24 NATO allies, we argue that the more states' strategic cultures tend toward Atlanticism, the more resources they allocated to military operations during a period in which such operations were the Alliance's top priority. During the height of NATO's "out of area" period from 2000 to 2012, there was a strong, positive correlation between, on the one hand, Atlanticist language in such documents and, on the other, allies' allocation of financial resources to military operations-as opposed to personnel, infrastructure, or equipment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Becker, J; Malesky, E

Published Date

  • March 1, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 61 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 163 - 180

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1468-2478

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0020-8833

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/isq/sqw039

Citation Source

  • Scopus