Transatlantic Collective Identity in a Nutshell. Debating Security Policy at the Munich Security Conference (2002-2014)

Social constructivists have always thought of NATO as the institutionalization of the transatlantic security community, based on a collective identity of a community of liberal democracies. Unfortunately, most researchers have just postulated this collective identity without studying its content and contestation in detail. An analysis of the speeches given at the annual Munich Security Conference, often dubbed the "transatlantic family meeting", since September 11, 2001, reveals that the representatives of NATO member states often voice quite different understandings of their collective identity. While there is still a lot of agreement among the speakers, the debates also reflect a heterogeneous "identity terrain", shaped by diverging conceptions of constitutive norms, different interpretations of NATO's purpose, various interpretations of its relationship with other actors, and diverse cognitive models concerning diplomacy and the use of force.
Paper produced within the framework of the IAI project Transworld.

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Details: 
Roma, Istituto affari internazionali, October 2014, 29 p.
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Issue: 
45
Publication date: 
13/10/2014

Introduction
1. The Munich Security Conference as a Meeting of the "Transatlantic Family"
2. The MSC Agenda and the Changing Notion of "Security"
3. The Transatlantic Partners and NATO's Geographical Focus: Going Global, Coming Home?
4. The Transatlantic Partners and Relationships With Other Actors: Partners, Challengers, Enemies?
4.1. The Transatlantic Partners and Liberal Democracies Outside the Euro-Atlantic Area: Friends or Family?
4.2. The Transatlantic Partners and Their Relationship With Russia: Partner, Threat or Spoiler?
4.3. The Transatlantic Partners and the "Rising Powers": The Example of China
4.4. The Transatlantic Partners and "Outlaws": The Example of Iran
Conclusion
References

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