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Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 337–361 | Cite as

The relevance of heterogeneous clubs in explaining contemporary NATO politics

  • Ivan Dinev IvanovEmail author
Article

Abstract

This article expands the logic of the club goods theory as a framework for studying North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) politics and argues that NATO should be approached as a heterogeneous club that incorporates several different groups of allies with relatively similar characteristics. The successful decision-making in this club depends exclusively on the capacity of the allies to reach consensus. If the member states agree on a decision, it is usually optimal, while the lack of willingness to accommodate the diverging positions of the allies stimulates solutions outside of the club which for the most part are sub-optimal. The relevance of this model is illustrated with two cases: the negotiations within NATO preceding Operation ‘Iraqi Freedom’ in 2003 and the decision to start the NATO Training Mission in Iraq in 2004.

Keywords

NATO alliances collective goods heterogeneous clubs 

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Notes

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    The application of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was also considered on the table, but the country was not extended an invitation due to its ongoing dispute with Greece over the name of this country. The allies agreed that once this bilateral dispute is settled, Skopje will be granted an automatic invitation whereby no separate invitation will be necessary. See para 20, ‘Bucharest Summit Declaration’, issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Bucharest on 3 April 2008, https://doi.org/www.summitbucharest.ro/en/doc_201.html (accessed August 18, 2008).
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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Georgetown CollegeKentuckyUSA

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