Category Archives: First Panel Session: International Security

Rebranding NATO: From Nuclear Stand Off to Nation Builders

This paper critically assesses how the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has transformed itself from the antithesis of the Warsaw Pact into an organisation increasingly focused on resolving state failure and nation building. This refocusing represents a step change, from a defensive military alliance opposing communism, to one spreading democracy and human rights; a significant change in doctrine as NATO seeks to redefine and justify its existence in a new century devoid of the USSR, with new and unfamiliar power relations developing. From Somalia to Afghanistan, and possible future engagements in Yemen, Iran and other states, NATO has had to deal with a different kind of battle, both militarily and politically, as its role and the way it sees itself changes.

Utilising case studies this paper will explore how NATO has achieved such a radical strategic and doctrinal change, and how it has adapted its military and political structure from one geared to reacting to The Cold War turning hot, to one able to carry out the long term commitments of nation-building. Its failings and successes, both preparing for, and carrying out nation building, be it via economic, governance or developmental means, will be explored, as well as how NATO might change its military make up as it seeks to adapt to the all too common dichotomy of nation building, short sharp high intensity warfare to longer term military occupations. Overall, however, this paper will assert how NATO may best place itself to carry out its new role, via a smarter military make up and more streamlined and integrated military-developmental relations so that it might best place itself to successfully build nations capably of surviving in the 21st Century.

Jonathan Priestley

2nd Year Economics and Political Science (Joint Honours) BSc





“The Real Question Is: ‘Do We Want To Stop North Korea?” – The Realist Approach in the Korean Peninsula Crisis.

This presentation gives voice to the growing concerns on the ongoing crisis in Korean Peninsula. Since state’s withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 2003 and its nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, the international community has been put on an emotional rollercoaster whether or not North Korea will use the nuclear weapons on its neighbors and other powers.

This paper addresses the following key question:  is the international community capable to work together to prevent North Korea further building and using its nuclear weapons? China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States have different agendas on this issue and they may change their policies, depending on the conditions at the particular time. The last developments showed relatively little cooperation between all parties. As such, we will witness the conflict of interest of key actors, which may lead to no conclusion whatsoever on North Korea’s nuclear potential. This, in turn, will determine the global security in the region and the world, as well as how the international community will react to the future nuclearization of other states.

The current politics in Korean peninsula largely determines many debates and topics in contemporary affairs. One of them is a normative discussion whether states (including the non-democratic) are allowed to pursue the nuclear programs. Secondly, the ineffective policy of the United States poses questions on America’s power in world politics. Thirdly, North Korea might be one of the first examples where China faces the consequences of becoming a global power and its responsibility in the international arena.

Dominika Kaczkowska

2nd Year European Politics, Society and Economics, BSc.




A Social Constructivist Interpretation of US Military Deployment

This paper seeks to use the historic self-determination of ‘manifest destiny’ and Wilsonian espousals of self-determination to examine the construction of America as a democratic ‘beacon’ to the free world. This identity defines US foreign policy in the advancement of liberal-democratic values as a normative global consensus; particularly through the creation of a binary international framework in which democratic states are ‘allies’ and nonconforming states form a de facto opposition.

This notion is primarily explored through an analysis of US activity within international security organisations and current American military deployment within Europe and the Far East. Such examination suggests the US uses tactical military deployment to increase its global influence, maintain the unipolar world order and provide a militarised platform from which liberal-democratic values can be advanced through publicly acceptable mediums such as the UN and World Bank.

This constructed image creates several limitations regarding unitary activity, and these are illustrated through an examination of the ‘coalition of the willing’ against Iraq, the isolating label of ‘rogue states’ and the use of binary discourse inherent within the ‘war on terror’ to create an international framework of “collective identity”.

It is finally concluded that US foreign policy is heavily influenced by political constructions of ‘leadership’ and the ‘democratic beacon’. America’s tactical military deployment is used to maintain a unipolar system and provide a secure platform from which the normative values of liberal democracy can be espoused through international organisations (UN, NATO, etc.), thus fulfilling the democratic logic of appropriateness and limiting the binary oppositions.

Anthony Maher

 2nd Year Political Science BA