Keywords

alliance theory, Liska, NATO, realism, realist, alignment, cohesion, North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Abstract

In many aspects, political theory forms a subjective structure of this abstract science. Perhaps, it is due to the fact that unlike natural sciences or mathematics, social sciences often lack the privilege of testing the theories in absolute and unadulterated conditions. Nonetheless, such nature of the science allows for a certain degree of flexibility, when applying political theories to real-world phenomena. Alliances and coalitions in international relations form the backbone of the theory, concerning IR scholars with two main questions: Why do alliances and coalitions form? And, what keeps alliances and coalitions together? As the core of my research, I examined NATO, as the most prominent and long-lasting alliance of our time, through the prism of alliance formation and cohesion theory introduced by George Liska. In particular, I explored the evolution of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization over the term of its existence, and sought to determine whether Liska's principles still apply to the contemporary situation, and in particular, how may the variables have altered the application of this scholar's theory to our future understanding of alliances. In its essence, this is a comparative study of the same alliance during the different stages of its existence. In particular, the comparison dissects such aspects of alliance theory as alignment, alliance formation, efficacy, and reasons for possible dissolution. As a result, the study led to a conclusion, that despite the permutations around and within NATO, the basic realist principles that may explain the mechanism of this alliance's formation and cohesion still apply to the contemporary organization.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2004

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Handberg, Roger

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Political Science

Degree Program

Political Science

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0000211

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0000211

Language

English

Release Date

December 2004

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until December 2004; it will then be open access.

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