NATO, The Kosovo War, and Neoliberal Theory
Contemporary Security Policy
This article examines neoliberal institutional theory of international relations as applied to NATO's 1999 war in Kosovo. The article surveys neoliberal assumptions about international institutions and security and assesses these assumptions within the context of the major scholarly literature on NATO in the 1990s. A framework for analysis is provided for testing independent and dependent variables as they are applicable to understanding the role and function of NATO as an international institution. Two core neoliberal assumptions about institutionalized multilateral cooperation are examined in the context of contemporary liberal theory: 1) principles, norms and the timing and cause of the Kosovo war; and 2) the relationship between information sharing, institutional rules, procedures and transaction costs of security provision. The central conclusion is that NATO's involvement in Kosovo is best understood as a spectrum in which the rationale for the war, and the reason the war started when it did, are best explained by neoliberal theory. However, in terms of the hard test of security provision, NATO's institutional attributes decreased the efficiency of security outcomes. Contrary to core neoliberal assumptions about security management institutions, NATO's information sharing, rules, and decision-making procedures increased the transaction costs of security provision. Consequently, this study illustrates how institutions matter in security provision and demonstrates that their impact is not necessarily positive. This study also explains why NATO has grown increasingly irrelevant to its key member states since the Kosovo war.
Kay, Sean, "NATO, The Kosovo War, and Neoliberal Theory" (2004). Politics & Government Faculty Work. 37.
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