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Why do states seek international organization approval for military intervention?


"Why do states nowadays typically seek multilateral approval from relevant international organizations (IOs) like the United Nations, NATO, or the African Union before intervening militarily abroad? To-date, research on this question has largely focused on the USA. The proposed study will expand the analysis beyond the USA, by systematically investigating for the first time why different types of states now generally seek IO approval for their military interventions. In particular, this study will compare the post-Cold War intervention policies of France, Italy, and Nigeria, as well as (to a lesser degree) Great Britain, Russia, and the USA. These are the states that have intervened most frequently in the post-Cold War period; and they have typically (though not always) sought IO approval before doing so. The preliminary hypothesis motivating this project is that different types of states might seek IO approval for different reasons, depending on factors such as their material capabilities and the degree of parliamentary control over national defense policy. To more fully explain why different types of states seek IO approval, the applicant intends to develop an explanatory typological model (Elman 2005), based on a structured-focused comparison of relevant cases of military intervention by the aforementioned states (George and Bennett 2004). Data for the proposed analysis will be derived primarily from semi-structured interviews that the applicant plans to conduct with senior foreign policy officials, with the help of a research assistant. The applicant has ample experience with the proposed data-collection technique from his doctoral research carried out at Columbia University in the USA, where he interviewed over 100 senior U.S. government officials. The award of a Marie Curie CIG will be essential to the implementation of the project, and it will crucially improve the applicant’s career prospects and facilitate his long-term professional integration in the ERA."

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Trinity Lane The Old Schools
CB2 1TN Cambridge
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 87 500
Administrative Contact
Renata Schaeffer (Ms.)