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The Baltic Experience

The Baltic Experience

(p.125) Chapter Six The Baltic Experience
Organizing Democracy
Paul PoastJohannes Urpelainen
University of Chicago Press

This chapter applies process-tracing to the Baltic experience from independence in 1991 to gaining NATO membership in 2004. The chapter begins by discussing the circumstances of the Baltic states immediately upon independence. The Baltics faced an external threat from their former occupier, Russia, which directly threatened to undermine their path to democratic consolidation. Unable to immediately gain the public good of security from the lucrative established IO of NATO, the Baltics chose to form their own security IO with support from the Nordic states. Next, the chapter details how the Baltic and Nordic states agreed that a peacekeeping-oriented IO, the Baltic Battalion, would best serve as a vehicle for quickly bolstering Baltic security. The chapter then explores how the United States, the key player in NATO, began to change its view on Baltic NATO membership following the creation of BALTBAT. The chapter concludes by explaining how the Baltic states, through BALTBAT and NATO-sponsored programs, reformed their militaries, improved civil-military relations, and finally achieved NATO membership.

Keywords:   process tracing, Baltic Battalion, Eastern Europe, post-communism, NATO expansion, Membership Action Program, Partnership for Peace

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