Exploring the Dynamics of Security Community-Building in the Post-Cold War Era : Spain, Morocco and the European Union
Abstract: This thesis aims to make a theoretical as well as an empirical contribution to the debate on the security community concept in International Relations (IR) by way of conducting a study of the European Union (EU) as a security community-building institution in the case of Spain and Morocco. The security community concept originally sought to define the conditions under which the threat of inter-state war would be mitigated through social transaction and expectations of peaceful change between societies and states. However, in the post-Cold War era, the challenge is rather to understand how security communities emerge and expand at a time when armed conflicts among states have become less frequent compared to other non-military threats and trans-boundary risks (e.g. terrorism, failed states, organized crime, pandemics, climate change). The argument of this thesis is that the role of international organizations and the changing notion of security need to be taken into account when re-thinking the concept. Drawing on constructivism in IR, especially the notion of communities of practice, the thesis suggests a framework to study how security communities work in the post-Cold War era focusing on the mechanisms of crisis management, transgovernmental networks and multilateral venues. The framework is used to study the EU as a security community-building institution in the case of Spain (member state) and Morocco (non-member), and in the fields of trade, security and defence and civil protection. The main finding of the thesis, which carries broader implications for the debate on security communities in IR, is that the EU has contributed to broadening the repertoire of cooperative security practices between Spain and Morocco, not necessarily through fostering collective identity but by supporting the development of communities of practitioners whom increasingly share a notion of military and civilian crisis management to counter non-military threats and trans-boundary risks.
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