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European Security in NATO's Shadow: Party Ideologies and Institution Building

Cambridge University Press;; 275 pages; $99.

Author Stephanie Hofmann offers a fresh look at European party ideologies that make a difference depending on one’s perspective on global issues. This debate of the European government’s continuous attempts to build a new security institution in NATO is very direct and to the point. The author superbly examines this issue using a wide-angle lens, and clearly demonstrates the abundance of resources necessary to understand European security initiatives in relation to NATO.

In this book the author presents a well-conceived argument for multiple case studies offering varied perspectives related to the issue of security cooperation in Europe. Hofmann has a confident voice and helps the reader understand the connections between the international and the domestic security organizations. One central theme throughout the book, is the persistent efforts at security cooperation with NATO presented by European governments.

Reading European Security in NATO's Shadow will be an eye opener for security professionals unfamiliar with European international relations. This book adequately highlights critical information in a well-written, clear, and concise manner. Without hesitation, Hofmann analyzes the way ideology dictates intergovernmental bargaining on matters of international security.

Historically, NATO has provided an autonomous European defense capability. Hofmann uses realistic examples and relates them to the topic. This book challenges the intellectual debate on security and breaks new ground in its explanation of foreign policy development.

Security professionals will benefit from this book in several ways. First, it is an invaluable resource on both the European and global security arenas. Second, it shows how the measures taken by the European Union to counter terrorism at both a national and a global level have raised its success rate as an international security community. And third, it chronologically examines varied global issues.

Finally, the intellectual contribution to the literature on European security governance at the global level is substantive. This book tells the story of the European Security and Defense Policy’s (ESDP) relationship to NATO—and what must be done to ensure that the European security posture is increased and that global cohesion is preserved. Hofmann presents an excellent review and analysis of the relationship around security issues between the United States and Europe. The author’s lively writing style will keep readers interested. 

Reviewer: Mark H. Beaudry , Ph.D., CPP, is a member of ASIS International and the ASIS Crime and Loss Prevention Council.