In This Review

NATO in the "New Europe": The Politics of International Socialization After the Cold War
NATO in the "New Europe": The Politics of International Socialization After the Cold War
By Alexandra I. Gheciu
Stanford University Press, 2005, 357 pp
Purchase

No longer does NATO exist to protect against a well-girded enemy. The new enemy is chaos and the trouble caused by countries too weak or too torn by civil conflict to mind their own affairs. Gheciu insists, however, that NATO has been doing much more than developing methods for coping with the chaos. In the case of the countries of eastern and central Europe, it has become a tutor actively helping to make them safe by making them liberal democracies. Hers is not the simple institutionalist argument that NATO's attraction for these former socialist countries produces domestic change. Rather, she argues that to succeed, the underlying identity and value systems in these societies need to be nudged and shaped, and for this NATO has to get inside as a teacher, guide, and role model. Gheciu demonstrates how this worked in two cases: the Czech Republic, which was not quite the easy case many assumed, and Romania, where the process unfolded even though NATO membership was not assured. Gheciu's account would be better if the theoretical superstructure were put in plain English, but it is a sophisticated and insightful book nonetheless.