Choosing sides in the European Iraq conflict: a test of new geopolitical theory

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Series Details Volume 15, Number 2, Pages 137-163
Publication Date June 2006
ISSN 0966-2839
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Focusing on the Euro-Atlantic conflict over the Iraq war operation in early 2003 (the ‘European Iraq conflict’), the purpose of the present article is to explain the pattern of Atlantic (vs. Continental) predispositions among European countries. It argues that this is the best suited conflict in the post-Cold War era to illuminate this stable and fundamental pattern.

Whereas systemic power distribution, size, public opinion, or government ideology all fail to account for the positioning of states in the conflict (and balance of threat applies only modestly), a theory of ‘past and present geopolitics’ is outlined that seems able to explain states’ predispositions and, hence, their positionings in this specific situation. It is remarkable that ‘old-fashioned’ geopolitical dynamics can be identified even within the Euro-Atlantic zone of ‘peace and prosperity’—not only at its fringes, but also in its very heart.

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