Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International Studies

Committee Director

Regina Karp

Committee Member

Austin Jersild

Committee Member

Thomas E. Chapman


This dissertation studies NATO expansion as institutional adaptation. More specifically, it examines the interaction between NATO's functional and geographical enlargement. This study asserts that there is a close relationship between NATO's new functions and its enlargement. Over time, NATO evolved from a collective defense alliance to a comprehensive security organization. As NATO undertook new functions, its capabilities no longer matched the requirements of the new functions. The geographical enlargement, in fact, constitutes a vehicle for the fulfillment of the capability shortfall.

Furthermore, this dissertation asserts that the new security environment will force NATO to focus on the regions at a strategic distance. More specifically, the Black Sea corridor will be the next area for NATO engagement. New functions such as energy security may bring new members from the wider Black Sea region into the club.

The case studies offer a detailed analysis of NATO's post Cold War functional and geographical enlargement. The second case study also highlights the fact that there is no an automatic geographical enlargement as a result of new NATO functions.

The timing of dissertation coincides with a significant transformation in NATO's structure and core tasks. 2010 will be the year of a NEW NATO with a new peace establishment and strategic concept. NATO will still be a relevant Euro-Atlantic organization with a global area of responsibility in the twenty-first century security environment for as long as it continues to protect the vital interests of its members.


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