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NATO’s Deep Origins (1939–1949): Unbreaking the Civilised Habitus?

  • Sarah da Mota
Chapter
Part of the New Security Challenges book series (NSECH)

Abstract

This chapter discusses the role of “civilisation” in the formation of the Alliance, by highlighting the antecedents leading to the need to safeguard the civilisation of the North-Atlantic people. By focusing on the 1939–1949 period, the extent to which civilisation needed to be upheld through a Western organisation of defence and security is assessed. How far were the civilised habitus and the Civilised Subjects of Security on the verge of being lost? Key elements such as the lack of self-restraint, the stereotyping of the Soviet Union as uncivilised, the role of spirituality and symbolism, and the reinforcement of interdependence are the most significant manifestations and expressions of the civilised habitus during that period. Together, they show how the civilised habitus was reformulated, redefined and reasserted, and help understanding that the Alliance emerged around civilisation as a formative referent object of security.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah da Mota
    • 1
  1. 1.LausanneSwitzerland

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