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NATO's 'out-of-area' tasks and the role of 'policy communities' (1990-1995).

Bono, Giovanna (2000) NATO's 'out-of-area' tasks and the role of 'policy communities' (1990-1995). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86206) (KAR id:86206)

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This thesis provides an overview of some of the explanations put forward by International Relations and political science theorists to account for NATO's transformation and survival. From a synthesis of the some of the assumptions contained in transgovernmental relations, policy networks and epistemic community approaches, the hypothesis of the existence of a `policy-community', which influenced NATO's decisions to assume `out-of-area' tasks, is derived. A `policy community' is defined as "a group of social actors located in government or (semi)-private organisations at a national or international level. Policy communities are characterised by a system of horizontal and vertical relationships. Members share similar belief systems and, although they might have separate national or institutional interests, they seek to pursue common policy aims in a specific policy area. " The testing for the existence of `policy communities'is undertaken by comparing the role of NATO international staff, British, German and US politicians and officials during key moments that characterised NATO's decision to assume an `out-of-area' role. The thesis demonstrates that during 1990 and 1991, a `policy community' was in operation that involved sections of NATO international staff, US and British militaries and officials. The policy community played a key role in placing the `out-of-area' issue on the agenda. However, its views and strategies only gained in influence because of how shifting domestic and international attitudes toward the Yugoslav conflict and the existence of institutional competitive dynamics between NATO and EC/WEU brought into existence a new coalition of forces in favour of NATO's `out-of-area' deployment. During 1993 and 1994 the composition of the policy community changed and had a significant impact on NATO's role in the Balkans. The ambitions of sections of NATO international staff to develop `out-ofarea' activities found stronger support among the newly elected Clinton administration and German politicians and officials than among the British government. During this period, the `policy community' agreed on three issues: the need to intensify the use of NATO air strikes against the Bosnian Serbs, the importance of forging a Bosnian Croat-Bosnian Muslim alliance and to embark on a wider transformation of NATO's force posture. The influence of the `policy community' on the policy-making process is interlinked with two other factors. First, there were organisational dynamics that influenced the process. From mid 1992 onwards, NATO's planning for the deployment of a large peacekeeping force in the Balkans became the focus of the rejuvenation of the NATO integrated military structure. The concepts of Combined Joint Task Forces and Partnership for Peace, the two key elements of NATO's new strategy, were worked out by the US military, with the support of the NATO international staff and the German Ministry of Defence, as a result of studying military activities in the Balkans. The second factor was an element of chaotic, ad hoc reaction to events, partly influenced by media reporting, which facilitated the realisation of the views and plans developed by the `policy community'. The findings disprove the assumptions derived from the neorealist and security community approaches, whilst supporting, with qualifications, some of the assumptions contained in the neoinstitutionalist, organisational, transgovernmental relations and epistemic community approaches

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86206
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: #ethos, International relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:34 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2022 19:22 UTC
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