Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 161–183 | Cite as

The Canadian politics of fair-share: the first burden-sharing debates about NATO

  • Dominika KunertovaEmail author


After the long domination of economic and collective action theories, the literature on the political aspects of Allied burden-sharing is growing. This article analyses the politics of fair-share in NATO from the perspective of Canadian officials during the first burden-sharing debates in 1949–1952. I focus on sense-making and, through an interpretive methodology, I reconstruct the Canadian discourse on fair-share. This article shows that for Canada sharing NATO’s burden was not only a matter of technicality or realist considerations; in order to make NATO burden-sharing work, the allies needed to balance three dimensions of collective defence burden: military, economic, and moral.


Canada NATO burden-sharing collective defence interpretive methodology 


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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science, Centre for International Peace and Security StudiesUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada

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