The challenge of defence transformation in Europe

Project Details


In the post Cold War era armed forces across the globe are in a state of transition, and are engaged in an ongoing re-definition of their roles in, and their relationships with, the societies they serve. This adaptation has become a key element in the process of democratisation. In particular, the dominant spectre of a major European land war between east and west has dissipated and the principal role of armed forces has shifted from the 'traditional' military mission of defence of national territory towards other missions, notably peacekeeping and other 'humanitarian' international and domestic operations. Moreover, as the fight against terrorism becomes a more pressing priority in national and international security in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the US in the autumn of 2001, the roles of armed forces are likely to need to adapt and evolve still further. Traditional understanding of civil-military relations however have been dominated by the use of concepts and approaches which were shaped by Cold War considerations, and this continues to inform the policy and academic debate -- often in the face of the declining utility of many of the concepts and ideas which are advanced. Despite the challenging times in which analysts, scholars and practitioners are living, in the last decade the academic-practitioner nexus in civil-military relations has been weak. The result has been the absence of cogent analyses of deeply significant issues for defence transformation.
Effective start/end date1/01/0331/12/05

Structured keywords

  • SPAIS Global Insecurities Centre