Alliances, Shared Identity, and Continued Cooperation

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
David Frederick Lemmons (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Renee Scherlen

Abstract: Realists and liberals dominate the literature on alliances. Realists tend to emphasize the competitive nature of international politics, and therefore are pessimistic about the ability of states to cooperate for long periods of time. Liberals, on the other hand, see alliances as a practical way for states to cooperate on a variety of issues. This study comes from a constructivist approach, arguing that both schools of thought miss important aspects of the alliance process. It is identity, not competition or cooperation that best explains alliances’ ability to persist. Through case studies on NATO, CENTO, and the US-South Korean alliance, this study shows that identity means the difference between success and failure of alliances in many cases. It also uses quantitative methods to attempt to find generalizable conclusions. Strong identities are important for alliances, and this study argues that they can make alliances substantially more successful.

Additional Information

Lemmons, D.F. (2012). Alliances, Shared Identity, and Continued Cooperation. Unpublished master’s thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2012
International relations, Constructivism, Alliances, NATO, Collective identity

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