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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17310

Title: Security Community in and through Practice: The Power Politics of Russia-NATO Diplomacy
Authors: Pouliot, Vincent
Advisor: Adler, Emanuel
Department: Political Science
Keywords: Practice theory
Security communities
Issue Date: 26-Feb-2009
Abstract: How do security communities develop in and through practice? For more than forty years, security relations between Russia and NATO member states were structured by the spectre of mutual assured destruction as symbolized by thousands of nuclear missiles targeted at each other. Less than a generation after the end of the Cold War, the possibility of military confrontation between these former enemies has considerably receded. Taking inspiration from Pierre Bourdieu, this dissertation develops a theory of practice of security communities that argues that on the ground of international politics, the social fact of peace emerges when security practitioners come to debate with diplomacy—the non-violent settlement of disputes—instead of about diplomacy. It is doxa, a relationship of immediate adherence to the order of things, that makes such a peaceful practical sense possible. In the empirical analysis, the dissertation reveals an intriguing paradox in the post-Cold War Russian-Atlantic relationship. On the one hand, over the last fifteen years Russia and NATO member states have solved each and every one of their disputes, including fierce ones over the double enlargement, by nonviolent means. Such a track record of peaceful change is testimony to security-communitybuilding processes. But on the other hand, diplomatic success was often bought at the price of a growing mistrust on the Russian side. As the Russian Great Power habitus resurfaced, hysteresis—a disconnect between players’ dispositions and their positions in the game—steadily increased to the point of inconclusive symbolic power struggles over the rules of the international security game and the roles that each player should play. A decade and a half after the end of the Cold War, Russian-Atlantic relations have left the terrain of military confrontation but have yet to settle on that of mature peace. Building on several dozen interviews with Russian and NATO security practitioners, the dissertation discovers that diplomacy has become a normal though not a self-evident practice in Russian-Atlantic dealings.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17310
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Political Science - Doctoral theses

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