NATO's Durability in a Post-Cold War World

By Joe Burton

Subjects: Political Science, History, International Relations, Organization Theory, Public Policy
Series: SUNY series, James N. Rosenau series in Global Politics
Hardcover : 9781438468730, 294 pages, March 2018
Paperback : 9781438468723, 294 pages, January 2019

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Table of contents

Introduction: Explaining NATO’s Durability

1. The Post–Cold War Environment and NATO Enlargement

2. Learning from Bosnia and Kosovo

3. 9/11 and the Transatlantic Rift

4. NATO’s War on Terror in Afghanistan

5. Libya, Ukraine, and the Rise of isis

Conclusion: NATO’s Durability in a Post–Cold War World
Appendix: A Brief Note on Methodology and Theory

Examines how NATO has adapted and endured after the end of the Cold War, transforming itself to deal with a host of new security challenges.


Why is it that despite the end of the Cold War and the almost constant controversies surrounding the alliance's role in the world, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is still a prominent and vital player in international security? Joe Burton provides an in-depth analysis of NATO's changing role in the post–Cold War era and its ability to survive, adapt, and meet the needs of its members in an increasingly turbulent, globalized security environment. He offers a historically and theoretically informed account of NATO that isolates the core dynamics that have held the alliance together in troubled times. In particular, he examines a series of processes and events—from the 1990 Gulf War to the rise of the Islamic State—that help explain NATO's continuing relevance.

Joe Burton is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Waikato in New Zealand and the coeditor (with James Headley and Andreas Reitzig) of Public Participation in Foreign Policy.


"…this is an excellent and timely addition to literature on NATO which employs a useful and unique perspective on why and how NATO has managed to adapt since the end of the Cold War. " — New Zealand International Review

"NATO's Durability in a Post–Cold War World traces a wide array of issues in the alliance's recent history, exploring how both liberal and realist narratives have been used to explain policies from intervening in the former Yugoslavia to the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Joe Burton raises fascinating questions about how NATO has—and continues to—justify its existence. " — H-Net Reviews (H-War)

"Burton expertly crafts the narrative of NATO in this text. The analysis is both accurate and interesting to read … His effort to create a 'historical narrative' approach has great value. It engages the audience in the story of NATO, and broadens the scope of investigation to include the very real impact of individuals and of historical memory. " — International Journal on World Peace

"This book does an excellent job of chronicling key events that have led to NATO's ongoing presence in international relations as a key provider of global security. " — Ryan C. Hendrickson, author of Diplomacy and War at NATO: The Secretary General and Military Action after the Cold War