In This Review

A European Security Architecture After the Cold War: Questions of Legitimacy
A European Security Architecture After the Cold War: Questions of Legitimacy
By Gülnur Aybet
St. Martin's, 2000, 316 pp

Aybet attempts to evaluate not just the new architecture of European security but its legitimacy, examining three distinct phases from 1990 to 1995. In 1990-91, the Western security community used institutions such as the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe to expand and promote the values forged in the Cold War. During the Persian Gulf War, it proceeded to move from collective defense to collective security. Finally, the Yugoslav wars forced the West to test its values and institutions. Aybet also traces NATO's increasing dominance in the institutional context. She contends that the Western security community has achieved legitimacy through a "Gramscian hegemony," which in turn is bolstered by interlocking institutions and the "consent and adoration of Eastern European dissidents." In other words, the new European security culture is essentially Western rather than truly pan-European. Whether this argument adds to her otherwise incisive study is unclear, but a subsequent volume is certainly needed to go beyond 1995 and assess NATO's Kosovo intervention -- when the U.N. was excluded and new questions of legitimacy were raised -- as well as Europe's efforts at creating its own rapid reaction force.