Introduction to cooperation between partners
NATOOstensibly, NATO was formed and developed in its first forty years as an instrument to balance the power of the Soviet Union. NATO, however, has not only continued to develop in the absence of its erstwhile adversary, it has expanded both in terms of its membership and also the scope of its operations. An alliance forged in response to the geopolitical pressures of the Cold War has recently found itself involved in missions as varied as humanitarian intervention and post-conflict reconstruction, in countries as diverse as Libya and Afghanistan. Led by Professor Mark Webber, this case study puzzle will seek to explain not only NATO’s survival beyond the Cold War but also the willingness of the alliance to take on a range of new and challenging tasks.
The European UnionThe European Union consists of 28 member states with a combined population of a little over a half billion people. It has grown from the original six members of France, Germany, Italy and Benelux States of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg in the early 1950s to a political community stretching from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea and the borders of Eurasia. The European Union represents a unique example of international cooperation in terms of the depth of political integration that has taken place. Led by Dr Graham Timmins, this case study puzzle will seek to explain how we can understand the existence of the European Union and its success in coordinating and shaping the internal and external policies of its member states.This is not, however, to suggest that the European Union is an unqualified success story. Indeed, with questions remaining over the future of the Eurozone and growing support for ‘Eurosceptic’ or ‘anti-European’ parties in a number of member states, the European Union is currently embroiled in some of the most sustained and serious challenges in its history. While significant, these are not the first crises that the European Union has faced and Dr Timmins will explore the puzzle of why it is that each challenge to either the internal workings or external relevance of the European Union has resulted in greater integration rather than fragmentation.
Cooperation in the Contemporary World: Unlocking International Politics
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