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ABSTRACT. The global financial crisis has created pressures to reduce defense spending in many NATO members, even as emerging threats pose new challenges to the alliance. This paper reviews the literature on military spending in the context of alliances, with a focus on the likely effects of fiscal restraint. The literature generally suggests that while NATO membership may influence how cuts to military budgets will be implemented, national security and domestic political considerations will be the dominant factor as there remain too many obstacles to effective sharing and specialization amongst allies. The literature remains weak on identifying operational details on how to make collaboration more effective within the alliance.

Keywords: alliances; defense; military expenditures; public goods; fiscal restraint

How to cite: Rowlands, Dane, and Decky Kipuka Kabongi (2017), “Military Expenditures, Alliance Membership, and Fiscal Restraint,” Geopolitics, History, and International Relations 9(2): 55–79.

Received 4 July 2016 • Received in revised form 8 November 2016
Accepted 11 November 2016 • Available online 25 November 2016

doi:10.22381/GHIR9220173

DANE ROWLANDS
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(corresponding author)
The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs,
Carleton University, Ottawa
DECKY KIPUKA KABONGI
The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs,
Carleton University, Ottawa

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