National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance


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Putting China’s ambitions in context: U.S. retreat provides a strategic opportunity

Third, I show that the United Kingdom UK , France and Germany have different strategic behaviors, because their diverging strategic cultures have constituted strategic decision-makers differently. Fourth, I argue that a multiplicity of other factors that influence strategic decision-making exist; strategic culture should not be regarded as one of many factors, but rather as the context that shapes how other factors are acted upon. Finally, I will conclude that the concept of strategic culture is highly useful for explaining the diverging security policies and practices of European states, because it provides a reason for why strategic behavior is resistant to change; it shapes trajectories of appropriate behavior; and it constrains strategic decision-makers, thus shaping strategic decision-making.

Alistair Johnston takes the view that strategic culture determines strategic decision-making.

Johnston regards strategic culture as a potentially important independent variable that can be used to predict strategic choice Johnston, Moreover, he argues that strategic culture should be devised into a notion that can be distinguished from non-cultural variables Johnston, It seems compelling to approach strategic culture in this way, as it allows one to assess the comparative advantage of a particular strategic culture and to contrast cultural factors with other causal factors Meyer, a: It is impossible to distinguish strategic culture from non-strategic variables; culture is among the most difficult notions to essentialize, and it would thus be a Herculean task to operationalize strategic culture.

Finding observable and quantifiable data to prove the existence of a particular strategic culture would be virtually impossible Poore, Thus, the concept of strategic culture is less useful in the sense that it cannot be employed to say that if a state has strategic culture x , it will engage in behavior y. As explained above, using strategic culture for causal theorizing is senseless due to the sui generis nature of culture Glenn, All strategic decision-making is carried out by human beings and their institutions, and no strategic decision-maker can approach security issues with a tabula rasa.

Rather, every human being involved in decision-making is an encultured being with beliefs, assumptions and norms that constitute their knowledgeable practice. Strategic behavior cannot be without culture, because culture is what gives meaning to practice Gray, Strategic culture can provide reasons for action.

Hence, in a sense, reasons can be causes Adler, As ideas about the appropriateness of the use of force often differ greatly, strategic culture is essential for understanding why strategic decision-making is shaped differently in different states. Not only can ideas about appropriateness differ greatly, they are also very resistant to change. Although strategic culture is not permanent, it is very stable. A strategic culture often outlives its era of inception and can at best only be marginally affected by political leaders Longhurst, This is because strategic culture is strongly rooted in the collective memory.

While strategic culture may gradually evolve, it will not change frequently or radically, as long as no event of sufficient magnitude occurs which requires thorough revision Gray, As has become clear from the above, semi-permanent norms, ideas and beliefs about the use of force that constitute strategic decision-makers, necessarily impact the security policies and practices of states. However, as an aggregate concept, strategic culture is too broad to be used as an analytical tool. Therefore, it must be disaggregated. To disaggregate strategic culture thusly is necessarily artificial, but it provides us with the analytical tools to engage more concretely with the strategic cultures of states.

I will use the norms to guide my discussion of how diverging strategic cultures have differently constituted decision-makers in the UK, France and Germany. Reference will be made to the norms to highlight areas of divergence, but not all norms are addressed in reference to each individual state mentioned above. Just how important strategic culture is for understanding becomes clear when it is considered why European states are still deeply divided on strategic issues Lindley-French, Despite some convergence, strong differences remain.

Strategic culture provides insight in why this may be so.

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The legacy of this era is still present in the form of strategic culture in many European states. If the strategic behavior of the UK and France are considered, one might be at a loss why these states have pursued different transatlantic policies, despite their comparable power capabilities Hyde-Price, Why, then, was the Blair administration the most important ally of the United States US during its invasion of Iraq in , while President Chirac vehemently opposed it Treacher, 95?

A partial answer is that British and French history have constituted strategic decision-makers differently. In the ensuing years, the UK strengthened its relationship with the US. As a result of the British experience during WWII, the idea that security issues can be effectively addressed through the use of military force became rooted. Moreover, the UK remains committed to interoperability with the US to be able to respond to crises quickly, and will not get involved in multilateral operations without the US Miskimmon, In the years after the war, France was further humiliated by collapse of colonial ambitions in Indo-China, the Suez embarrassment and the crisis in Algeria Treacher, President Charles de Gaulle turned around these profound feelings by reasserting French confidence, and reestablishing France as a global power Treacher, From past humiliation France drew the lesson it should retain the capability to act autonomously.

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At the core of French identity is the belief France is still a great power that must strive to have a prominent position in the international realm. Now, taking into account the strategic culture of the UK and France, an essential insight in their respective behavior can be uncovered. While both France and the UK believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and also believed force could be used for the goal of disarming Iraq, they had strongly divergent ideas about the preferred mode of cooperation and about international authorization.

The British, on the other hand, strongly supported the US. Thus, in the case at hand, the French and UK strategic cultures contribute to our understanding of the diverging behavior of these states. Noel Malcolm. Adam Jones. Michael Pillsbury. William Shawcross. Jukka Rislakki. Peter Hough.

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National Security Cultures - Patterns Of Global Governance Hardcover

Free delivery worldwide. Description This edited collection examines changes in national security culture in the wake of international events that have threatened regional or global order, and analyses the effects of these divergent responses on international security.


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Tracing the links between national security cultures and preferred forms of security governance the work provides a systematic account of perceived security threats and the preferred methods of response with individual chapters on Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, UK and USA. Each chapter is written to a common template exploring the role of national security cultures in shaping national responses to the four domains of security governance: prevention, assurance, protection and compellence.

The volume provides an analytically coherent framework evaluating whether cooperation in security governance is likely to increase among major states, and if so, the extent to which this will follow either regional or global arrangements. By combining a theoretical framework with strong comparative case studies this volume contributes to the ongoing reconceptualization of security and definition of threat and provides a basis for reaching tentative conclusions about the prospects for global and regional security governance in the early 21st century.

This makes it ideal reading for all students and policymakers with an interest in global security and comparative foreign and security policy. Product details Format Hardback pages Dimensions x x Bestsellers in International Relations. Add to basket. The Looming Tower Lawrence Wright. The Secret State Peter Hennessy. The Shock Doctrine Naomi Klein. The Biggest Secret David Icke. Who Rules the World? Proof of Conspiracy Seth Abramson. Just War S.

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National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance
National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance
National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance
National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance
National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance
National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance
National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance
National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance
National Security Cultures: Patterns of Global Governance

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