International Politics

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 303–323 | Cite as

Who is keeping the peace and who is free-riding? NATO middle powers and Burden Sharing, 1995–2001

  • Benjamin Zyla
Original Article


The objective of this article is to test the free-riding hypothesis submitted by collective action theorists, and to ask the following research questions: What slice of the military burden did middle powers share in NATO’s first out-of-area operations in the Balkans between 1995 and2001? And what, if anything, can we infer from this? We concentrate on NATO’s Implementation Force (IFOR), Stabilization Force (SFOR) and Kosovo Force (KFOR) operations and show that based on a so-called relative force share index middle powers shouldered a disproportionately high relative share in those peace operations. From this finding we draw a number of inferences for burden sharing studies and show avenues of future research.


NATO burden sharing transatlantic relations peace-operations Balkans middle powers 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Zyla
    • 1
  1. 1.School of International Development and Global Studies, University of OttawaOttawaCanada

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