Authored by: Carlo Masala , Alessandro Scheffler Corvaja

Routledge Handbook of Security Studies

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  July  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138803930
eBook ISBN: 9781315753393
Adobe ISBN: 9781317620921


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Alliances have been an important element of security policy since long before the rise of the modern nation-state. Therefore, the history of alliances is as long as the history of relations between cohesive units of human coexistence; in other words, ‘alliances are [ . . . ] a universal component of relations between political units, irrespective of time and place’ (Holsti et al. 1973: 2). Following Stephen Walt (1987: 1), we define alliances as a ‘formal or informal relationship of security cooperation between at least two sovereign states’ in this chapter.

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