Monday, February 12, 2007

Reviewed on H-Net: New Books on NATO

Benjamin Zyla, Royal Military College of Canada, has a review of two new NATO books originally on H-German, and just posted on the H-Net book review page. The books are Alexandra Gheciu, NATO in the "New Europe": The Politics of International Socialization after the Cold War (Stanford University Press, 2005) and Stanley R. Sloan, NATO, the European Union, and the Atlantic Community: The Transatlantic Bargain Challenged, 2nd edition, (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2005). Zyla writes, in part:
After the end of the Cold War the question posed by scholars of international relations about the future of the NATO alliance seems to be answered once and for all: NATO does have a future, at least in the eyes of these authors. Today, more than fifteen years after the historical unification of Germany, the debate about the future of NATO is couched in a larger discussion about its most recent enlargement process and its values and norms. Alexandra Gheciu and Stanley Sloan follow this tendency and concentrate their analyses on NATO's normative dimensions of enlargement.
Both books begin their discussions in a traditional way, with a summary of NATO's history since its inauguration in 1949. After setting the stage for the analysis with theoretical discussions of methodology, Gheciu summarizes the arguments of the main schools of international relations and how they explain (or do not explain) the alliance's future after 1989. Early on in the book, she makes an epistemological choice and determines the constructivist school as the theoretical focus for approaching her research question....
Like Gheciu, Sloan uses the categories of NATO's external determinants (Soviet threat, terrorism, rogue states) and internal determinants (collective security, national interests, values) to trace a historical picture of NATO. Based on this discussion, Sloan argues for the reconsideration of the transatlantic alliance. This book provides a blueprint for a new Atlantic Community Treaty, which he explains in greater detail in his very last chapter.

For the rest, click here.