Military Change in Britain and Germany in a Time of Austerity: Meeting the Challenge of Cross-national Pooling and Sharing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


European defence cuts associated with austerity measures have coincided with significant changes in the international security environment, notably the shift of US strategic priorities away from Europe to Asia. This chapter argues that within this context enhanced cooperation through the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is imperative if European states are to avoid a security vacuum within Europe’s geopolitical neighbourhood. The chapter focuses in particular on the management of military change at the strategic level. It examines the ability of the UK and Germany to translate the imperative of closer defence cooperation through the CSDP to policy change. The chapter argues that factors at the strategic level, including the presence of an Alliance Security Dilemma in CSDP and NATO and variance in UK and German assessments of the security environment undermine the capacity of both states to take full advantage of the institutional mechanisms associated with CSDP. However, domestic factors, including ideological path dependency and fears about the implications of European cooperation for the national defence technological and industrial base also play an important role. The chapter argues that Neoclassical Realism provides the strongest measure of analytical leverage in understanding the limited ability of the UK and Germany to respond to the strategic imperatives of pooling and sharing military forces and capabilities through CSDP.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecurity, Strategy and Military Change in the 21st Century
Subtitle of host publicationCross-regional Perspectives
EditorsJo Inge Bekkevold, Ian Bowers, Michael Raska
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)978-1-13-883265-7
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2015

Publication series

NameCass Military Studies


  • Pooling and sharing
  • NATO Smart Defense
  • CSDP Ghent Framework
  • British defence policy
  • German defence policy

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