Transforming defence: examining NATO’s role in institutional changes of South Caucasus Countries (a comparative study of Armenia and Georgia)

Dzebisashvili S (2016)
Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld.

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Bielefeld Dissertation | English
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Vasilache, AndreasUniBi ; Merlin, Aude
Abstract
The thesis deals with the problematics of institutional influence of an international organization (NATO), which is placed in the context of transformational processes of defence institutions of Armenia and Georgia reviewed as case-countries. The notion of defence institutions refers largely to ministries of defence and the national armed forces as key units of analysis that are exposed to multiple mechanisms and mods of external institutional influence, that of the Alliance. The objective of the study is to shed light on the dynamics of institutional cooperation between NATO and the case – countries and to highlight the underlying causes responsible for varying results of national compliance in a defined set of functional areas of defence common for Armenia and Georgia. The key question is whether NATO was able to utilize its policy of conditionality to enforce policy change of respective defence institutions. And the generated hypotheses largely suggest that the degree of domestic compliance is contingent on the convergence of national preferences with the gains and benefits expected from cooperation process with NATO. Alternatively, we argue that the prevalence of external obligations over the internal political agenda by far determines the strength of compliance and is heavily affected by international power-relations and national security considerations. Our study renders results counterintuitive to our expectations yet powerful enough to validate some hypotheses and refute others we suggested earlier. Georgia rendered an outcome that falls not far from the result achieved by another nation, Armenia that did not pursue the same strategic objective and did not embrace the same scale of commitments. This results run against the general expectation that the more promise and commitment are made, the more results will be achieved. The Georgian case, in fact, indicated the irrelevance of the commitment degree as the only factor responsible for positive performance, i.e. the high degree of implementation effort. Further, we found sufficient evidence to claim that both countries regarded NATO largely in the context of security and power - relations. Thus, they acted in a very strategic, interest based manner to pursue their objectives that often did not imply the internalization of western norms of running institutions (defence) and aimed at military effectiveness rather than the wide adoption and routinization of NATO - practices. The rewards (“carrot”) provided by NATO turned out to be minimal (no membership) to compensate the negative pay-offs resulting from a full compliance. And since the Alliance was lacking any meaningful punishment mechanism (“stick”), the minimal rewards were secured any way causing both countries to choose merely partial compliance.
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Dzebisashvili S. Transforming defence: examining NATO’s role in institutional changes of South Caucasus Countries (a comparative study of Armenia and Georgia). Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld; 2016.
Dzebisashvili, S. (2016). Transforming defence: examining NATO’s role in institutional changes of South Caucasus Countries (a comparative study of Armenia and Georgia). Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld.
Dzebisashvili, S. (2016). Transforming defence: examining NATO’s role in institutional changes of South Caucasus Countries (a comparative study of Armenia and Georgia). Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld.
Dzebisashvili, S., 2016. Transforming defence: examining NATO’s role in institutional changes of South Caucasus Countries (a comparative study of Armenia and Georgia), Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld.
S. Dzebisashvili, Transforming defence: examining NATO’s role in institutional changes of South Caucasus Countries (a comparative study of Armenia and Georgia), Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld, 2016.
Dzebisashvili, S.: Transforming defence: examining NATO’s role in institutional changes of South Caucasus Countries (a comparative study of Armenia and Georgia). Universität Bielefeld, Bielefeld (2016).
Dzebisashvili, Shalva. Transforming defence: examining NATO’s role in institutional changes of South Caucasus Countries (a comparative study of Armenia and Georgia). Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld, 2016.
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