Date of Award

Fall 12-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


International Studies

Committee Director

Regina Karp

Committee Member

Cathy Wu

Committee Member

Peter Schulman


With mounting pressure by the United States directly and through their strategic shift and slow abdication of leadership towards Asia and away from the transatlantic community, European states have growing incentive to cooperate more strongly and integrate their defense and security efforts. The absence of such a trend of integration points to internal barriers to growing cooperation countering the external dynamic. Utilizing the theory of security communities, this thesis explores German, French, and British understanding of leadership, defense, and their respective public opinions. Focusing on the security identities of all three nations and their visions for the community as well as defense interests, it is clear that these are too divergent to allow any of the three nations to take-over the position of core state within the security community, despite their economic, military, and political size and power. This leads to the conclusion that security communities function without mutual shared trust and congruent identity through a system of stratification.