In 1979 the European Community had no competence in security affairs and defence was a taboo subject in Community affairs.1 Ten years later the European Community was being discussed as a principal institution for the construction of a ‘new European security architecture’. This study seeks to understand how and why this shift in thinking came about and what factors shaped the debate about a European security and defense identity (ESDI) in the period 1979–92. It is a conceptual and historical analysis of the changing debate about a role for the European Community in the domain of security and defense. Finally, it analyses to what extent the debate was reflected in actual policies and institutional development.


European Community European Security Police Cooperation International Relation Theory Asylum Policy 
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  1. 3.
    The author is aware that the term ‘cold war’ is problematic. Many historians would argue that the cold war ended long before 1989. However for present purposes, colloquial references to the cold war ending in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall are acceptable. Thus the ‘post-cold war period’ begins in 1989. See Michael Cox, ‘Rethinking the End of the Cold War’, Review of International Studies 20, no. 2 (April 1994); Walter LaFeber, ‘An End to Which Cold War?’, in Michael J. Hogan, ed., The End of the Cold War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).Google Scholar
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    ‘America’s allies acquiesced in a hegemonic system that accorded the United States special privileges to act abroad unilaterally to promote U.S. interests. The United States, in turn, condoned its allies’ use of the system to promote their own economic prosperity, even if this happened to come largely at the expense of the United States.’ (Benjamin J. Cohen, Organizing the World’s Money: the Political Economy of International Monetary Relations [London: Macmillan, 1977], 97).Google Scholar
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    The purpose here is not to analyze the growing definitional debate about security but simply to outline which aspects of security will be considered in the book. The fullest theoretical discussion of security is found in Barry Buzan, People, States & Fear: An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post-Cold War Era, 2nd edn (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991).Google Scholar
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© Andrew Wyatt-Walter 1997

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  • Holly Wyatt-Walter

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