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Goodbye to all that? Institutionalist theory, U.S. alliances, and Donald Trump

Lanoszka, A. (2016). Goodbye to all that? Institutionalist theory, U.S. alliances, and Donald Trump. Contemporary Security Policy, 38(1), pp. 41-46. doi: 10.1080/13523260.2016.1268031


In an important and stimulating article, Stephan Frühling and Andrew O’Neil argue in favor of applying institutionalist theory to understand the alliance politics of U.S. nuclear weapons strategy. But what promise does institutionalist theory really hold in thinking about highly unequal alliances nested in their particular threat environments? I argue that much work remains to be done to determine how much better institutionalist variables explain intra-alliance dynamics over alternative arguments that emphasize power and interests. Balances of power and the nature of threat environments may already account for key aspects of extended deterrent relationships supported by the United States in Europe and Asia. Ironically, the implication of this more traditional interpretation of alliances is that more continuity than change will characterize how Donald Trump will manage U.S. security relationships as President.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Contemporary Security Policy on 23 Dec 2016, available online:
Publisher Keywords: Trump, nuclear, alliances, proliferation, institutionalism
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
SWORD Depositor:
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