North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

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The United States, certain Western European nations, and Canada formed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949 in order to give some collective security against the Soviet Union. NATO was the first peacekeeping military alliance to invade the Western Hemisphere, beginning with the United States. Following the devastation of World War II, different European nations scrambled to restructure their economy in order to secure security. In comparison to the United States, the European countries had been merged into an economy that was well-equipped, healthy, and vital in order to prevent communism from spreading across the continents. Because of this issue, the Secretary of state Dr. George Marshall decided to propose a program that would bring up an advanced economy that would aid Europe. The program was to assist in facilitating the integration of ideas that would help in building some cooperation of shared interest between Europe and the United States (Brey and Thomas 2009, 67). The creation of NATO was of the advantage since it assisted in the reinforcement of the growth of the economy between the Western and Eastern region in Europe. The flourishing and survival of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) defeat the realist expectations in their international political events. In our research, we will be able to see how the non-realistic approach towards the international politics serves us (Charles and Levesque 1999, 79). We will also have an understanding of the realist theory, how it can assist in understanding the intercontinental political procedures and changes. The main charge that hurls towards the realist approach is the disaster of explaining about the failures of the new stability of power from the end of the cold war.


The creation of NATO into an institution assisted in keeping the interests of various researchers and theorists. The enlargement of NATO as a process has also become an analysis subject more so after the cold war. The main reason behind this idea is that the existence of NATO Alliance before this period was only because of the creation of the balancing of some Soviet threats (Simon 2003, 87). After the end of the cold war and the termination of the USSR, NATO has to transform itself more gradually. Because the Soviet threats are never present anymore, the investigators are still investigating the NATO expansion. This investigates the current threat that makes these countries have the will to become part of NATO and the further enlargement of NATO (Gheciu 2005, 112). All these concerns have risen into studies, and no individual has solved the puzzle. In this research, I will endeavor to discuss this concern. All this analysis will involve the comparison and analysis of various countries. From this analysis, it is clear that some alternative explanations will be based on neo-liberal and the realism institutionalism that will be provided in this context. I will end up my research that NATO is still a complicated process that will further be analyzed so that the process can remain clear. The main interesting part of this reading is that the enlargement of NATO is never based on the requirements and criteria that some of the aspiring States should fulfill (Gordon, Philip and Steinberg 2001, 98). Apart from these necessities, most of the relationships on the respective level and the events on the international scale might seem to have a significant influence on the enlargement of NATO.

The core purpose of this study is to analyze the core purpose of NATO after its expansion. We will also compare the developments so that we can find out whether any other factors are relevant to the expansion aside from the main requirements that are set by NATO. After NATO had decided to enlarge, it also set up some conditions that were to assist various countries to fulfill and be a part of NATO (Gordon, Philip and Steinberg 2001, 75). I would wish to emphasize that some of the NATO members have some strong influence towards the decisions that are necessary to the process of enlargement. Some of the questions that arise from this research include the factors that result in the control of the expansion of NATO, How we can understand some of the factors and how the basis of these requirements are defined. For us to figure out on the enlargement process of NATO and its member states, it is necessary to look at the perspectives of the behavior of the neo-liberal and realism institutionalism. In this study, I will turn my explanations towards various theories such the realism theory and the neo-liberal institutionalism theory. I have to give a short presentation however about Realism and neo-liberal institutionalism theory first.


Realism Theory

Realists believe that states are always the actors that count. The international corporations, the transnational organizations and the religious quantities will always rise and fall, but the state will always remain to be a permanent feature in the modern landscape of the universal politics. Most of them believe that the nations pose some self-interested entities who always seek to have some personal preservation that drives some global domination (Kaiser 1996, 100). Such behavior can only rest on an assumption where the international system can have a realm of no state exercise that had a legitimate power over any other nation and a situation where every state can provide for its individual protection. Because some of the international systems appear to have an anarchic system, the realists believe that there is security in their arena in cases where there is the lack of some higher authority so that they can easily counter the use of force and this can be seen through self-help groups. It is, however, ironical that the self-help system never results in a safe environment for the state. The effort of the state to seek some security can generate some constant struggle that harbors the likelihood of using some force.

The Realists also believe that security dilemma can be alleviated and the mechanism principle through the balance of power (Keohane, Robert and Martin 1995, 54). In this case, Waltz tries to argue that various nations “experienced unbalanced power, these states usually try to add their individual strength while their friends ally with others as they bring on some international circulation of the energy into balance.” Through this, it is clear that there is some coexistence that is achieved by maintaining the balance of power. Limited co-operation is also possible in the interactions where the realists state their stands by trying to gain more than other countries.

Summing up the above theory, in IR realism can be described as an international system that portrays the brutal arena where various states try to look for an opportunity where they can take advantage of each other. Because of this reason, the states have little reason for trusting each other (Keohane, Robert and Martin 1995, 113). However, this does not mean that their relationship towards the international arena can be represented by the continuous state of war. A constant security competition remains because of the possibility of war being in the background.

Neo- Liberal Institutionalism

The neo-liberal institutionalism aims at taking for granted various nations as being legitimate through their demonstration into the society even when they emphasize the need of the non-country actors by arguing that the non-state actors are only subordinate states. The weak states have the ability to accept the organizational condition of having some lawlessness in the international system. The system appears to be crucial because the anarchy never has some cooperation since the state agreement is impossible (Simon 2003, 84). The Neoliberal institutionalism says that various international institutional and nations have the ability to mitigate the anarchy through the reduction of the cost of verification and ensuring that the defection norms are quickly pushed.

The governments stress that they have the ability to enter into various cooperative relations even when other states gain more from interaction since they believe that the integration process increases both at the global and regional level (Waltz and Kennet 1979, 24). The total gains are important for the liberal institutionalism that even the relative gains. The liberal institutionalizes, therefore, believe that various organizations have interactive effect where their impact varies on its outcome depending on the interests and the nature of power.


The core subject of this study is the enlargement process that occurs in a various organization that is created by the nations. It is apparent that different member states have the ability to decide whether the association should enlarge or not (Charles and Levesque 1999, 79). Both the realist and neo-liberal institutionalizes theories say that all these countries can operate through different institutions. They, however, have some different ways of approach through which they explain why they participate. For the realist's institutions, for instance, there are various reflections where the states can calculate their self-interests basing on the initial international distribution of their power (Šabič and Bukowski 2002, 84). Some of the main powerful nations in the system have the ability to create and shape their institutions so that they can finally maintain their shares of being most potent in the world. Establishments in this view remain essential because the arenas act out to have some meaningful relationships. For the neo-liberal institutionalism, various organizations have the ability to make some significant differences in collaboration with the power certainties (Charles and Levesque 1999, 48). Most of the institutions are important in cases where there is some ordinary sense of social science through the control of the power effects and their interests. Most of them also have some interactive effects that have an impact on the outcomes that vary widely depending on their interests and power. Both theories have the state being an important actor and have the actor as the maximizing utility. It is important to combine both approaches to come up with a decision that will allow the member states to benefit and represent their interests for the organization.


From the research, it was clear that the analysis has assisted in giving an understanding to the enlargement of the NATO. The factors present throughout the international arena have contributed in contributing to some decision of the enlargements that occur in countries that have a base on countries that participate in the organization. The primary research question has been focusing on the factors that assist in influencing the enlargement of NATO. The time that NATO decided to enlarge itself assisted in creating the aspirant country that would fulfill the membership granting to NATO. However, the process of NATO enlargement was occurring gradually. It is, therefore, clear that the requirements are not only criteria that some countries can fulfill to be members of NATO. NATO enlargement is a complicated thing that requires the interests of willingness to be part of it and working hard. The main apparent aspect from this study is that every aspirant country should dedicate its efforts towards the fulfillment of the NATO requirements.


Simon, J. (2003) Poland and NATO: A study in civil- military relations (Publicerad av Rowman & Littlefield);

Waltz, Kennet N. (1979) Theory of International Politics, (New York:McGraw- Hill, Inc);

Šabič, Z. and Bukowski, C. (2002) Small states in the Post-Cold War World:

Slovenia and NATO Enlargement (Greenwood Publishing Group);


Brey, Thomas (2009), “Analysis: Albania, Croatia eager for their entry into NATO”, Europe News, March 30, 2009.

Charles- Philippe, D. and Levesque, J. (1999) The future of NATO: Enlargement, Russia and European Security (McGill-Queen's University Press);

Gheciu Alexandra (2005) NATO in the New Europe: the politics of international

Socialization after the Cold War (Stanford University Press);

Gordon, Philip H., Steinberg James B. (2001), “NATO Enlargement: Mowing Forward” The Brookings Institution;

Kaiser, K. (1996), “Reforming NATO” Foreign Policy, No.103: 128-143;

Keohane, Robert O. and Martin, Lisa L. (1995), “The Promise of Institutionalist Theory” International Security, Vol.20, No. 1: 39-51;

Internet Sources

CIA the World Fact book, URL:;

NATO Homepage, Founding Act between NATO and Russia, URL:;

NATO Homepage, The Alliance’s strategic concept, URL:;

May 02, 2023

Economics World


Workforce Politics Americas

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