Marina Henke, Northwestern University in Chicago

The Primacy of Diplomacy: How the United States Builds Multilateral Military Coalitions
Wednesday, 5 October 2016 - 11:30 am to 1:00 pm
Contact information
Contact person: 
Stéphanie Plante
Registration required: 
Cost to attend: 
Free of charge
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Presented by CIPS, the International Theory Network (ITN)

How does the United States build multilateral military coalitions? The conventional wisdom advances that formal alliance structures guide the latter process: allies band together because they share threat perceptions, political ideology, norms and values. This article, however, suggests otherwise. It proposes that US-led coalition-building is first and foremost a diplomatic process influenced by bilateral and multilateral institutions other than formal alliances. The breadth of institutions matters because it allows accessing information on the potential coalition partner’s deployment preferences that are not only related to the security aspect of the operation but also its political and economic facets. In addition, diplomatic embeddedness offers linkage opportunities between military and non-military interests, which facilitates the construction of side-payments. Overall, diplomatic embeddedness thus affects the probability of a country joining a US-led coalition in important ways.