Inter-democratic security institutions and the security dilemma: a neoclassical realist model of the EU and NATO after the end of the Soviet Union
Realism has traditionally not devoted considerable attention to the role of ideas and institutions. Neoclassical realism can respond to this deficit by exploring their impact on the decision-makers as an intervening variable between the international distribution of power and foreign policy. Decision-makers are assessed by their aptitude to act strategically in accordance with the balance of power logic to maximize security. Ideas and institutions can both support and prevent states from acting ‘rationally’ to systemic pressures. A neoclassical realist model is developed that assesses the EU and NATO as inter-democratic security institutions after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. While ideas and institutions enhanced their ability to mobilize resources to absorb and engage with Eastern Europe in response to new security challenges, it also reduced their ‘rationality’ and subsequently aggravated the security dilemma with Russia.