Upside Down : Reframing European Defence Studies

Meijer, Hugo and Wyss, Marco (2019) Upside Down : Reframing European Defence Studies. Cooperation and Conflict, 54 (3). pp. 378-406. ISSN 0010-8367

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Since the end of the Cold War, the study of European defence has been dominated by a 'Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)-centric' approach, while largely neglecting the comparative analysis of national defence policies. This article makes a conceptual and empirical case for turning the dominant research prism of European defence studies upside down by returning the analytical precedence to the national level. This approach privileges the comparative analysis of national defence policies and armed forces, before focusing on the trans-/supra-national level. The case for this analytical turn is made in three steps. Firstly, it addresses the different historical stages in European defence integration and the transformation of national armed forces and thereby brings to light the recent renationalization of defence in Europe. Secondly, it questions the predominance of the CSDP in the scholarly literature on European defence. Finally, it seeks to demonstrate the fruitfulness of such a demarche by empirically substantiating common patterns and intra-European divergences in the evolution of national defence policies and armed forces since the end of the Cold War. After having shown the need and added benefit of turning the analytical lense of European defence studies on its head, the conclusion suggests future avenues of research on national defence policies and armed forces in Europe.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Cooperation and Conflict
Additional Information:
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Cooperation and Conflict, 54 (3), 2019, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2019 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Cooperation and Conflict page: on SAGE Journals Online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? armed forcescommon security and defence policydefence policyeuropean defencestrategy and management ??
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Deposited On:
04 Jul 2018 15:22
Last Modified:
15 Nov 2023 00:20