Understanding Contemporary Military Coalitions and Coalition Defection

  • Kathleen J. McInnis


This chapter employs both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to understand the “universe” of contemporary military coalitions. In so doing, it augments the extant literature by conceptualizing and explaining contemporary military coalitions themselves; identifying the many reasons why states join them, and what impact those reasons can have on state decision-making related to continued participation; identifying what constitutes defection versus a planned withdrawal, and how frequently defection occurs; identifying the myriad strategies states can choose from to defect from coalitions, often without appearing to do so at a strategic level; understanding whether coalitions can be hollowed out to the point of collapse at the operational level while appearing to remain coherent at the strategic level; and building a theoretical framework to understand how and why states defect from contemporary military coalitions.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen J. McInnis
    • 1
  1. 1.Congressional Research ServiceWashington, DCUSA

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