Changing alliance and cooperation dynamics : globalization, nation-state and the threat
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This dissertation is a study about the form and dynamics of inter-state cooperation and alignment against transnational terrorism epitomized by Al-Qaeda. Since international security is traditionally regarded as the parcel of nation-states, transnational terrorism is a conceptual new-comer to the playground of politics. Its scale of operations occurs in a security environment structurally different from that of the Cold War. The recurrent reason given for debating the role and relevance of alliances in regard to counterterrorism is discussed in the literature to be a systemic change in world affairs marked by the end of the Cold War and globalization. The latter must be disaggregated to determine the essential elements and features of the systemic differences and related threats. Does contemporary inter-state cooperation and alignment against transnational terrorism correspond to the previous alignment behaviors of states that were conducted against other states? Analyzing the evolving forms of cooperation in general and the form of cooperation in alliances is the aim of the study. Through a three-pronged analytical discussion based on the factors of globalization, unit-level preferences and the features of the threat itself, the study concludes that cooperation form in general and in alliances in particular - including the form of cooperation in NATO- is experiencing a shift from a ‘defensive nature’ to a ‘security nature’. Coalitions of the Willing type of cooperation appears to be the re-emergent form of inter-state security cooperation, especially against ambiguous threats such as transnational terrorism that erodes the distinction between internal and external threats.
The new threat