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Chapter

Cover Comparative European Politics

16. Defence  

Nikola Tomić and Ben Tonra

This chapter takes a comparative state-centric approach to illustrate the core issues of defence in Europe. The chapter reviews the influence of history, size, and geography on defence in Europe. It assesses the external threats facing European countries, including territorial threats from neighbouring countries such as Russia, energy security, and cyber security, and the ways in which these threats are perceived in Europe and in European states. It then shows how states respond to these threats, examining differences between European countries in terms of their strategic culture, defence capabilities, and military alliances. Efforts to build defence cooperation between countries are examined, including NATO and the emergence of common defence policies at the EU level.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Security Studies

14. Military Security  

Sheehan Michael

This chapter examines the continuing importance of military security. It notes that International Relations has historically seen security almost entirely in terms of the military dimension, before going on to review the impact of the broadening of the concept of security on approaches to the study of its military dimension. It then analyses the key aspects of the traditional approach to military security and some of the most common ways in which states have sought to acquire it historically, such as war, alliances, and, more recently, nuclear deterrence. The chapter then reflects on some of the difficulties in acquiring military security, and ways in which its pursuit can sometimes reduce, rather than increase, security, before concluding with a reminder of the continuing centrality of military security, even within a significantly broadened understanding of security as a multifaceted concept.