NATO Enlargement and Democratisation: Interlinked, or Not? The Cases of Poland, Ukraine and Georgia
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The end of the Cold War has not only led to changes in the Western security organisation, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), but also to a shift in the political systems in Central and Eastern Europe. As newly established democracies in Central and Eastern Europe became eager to join the Alliance, NATO transformation and enlargement became also topics of discussion among the Alliance members. These former Soviet satellites, however, had a long way to go in their democratisation process, which was a precondition to join NATO in the long run. In the past twenty years, democratisation flourished in Central and Eastern Europe and allowed NATO to enlarge. Both democratisation and enlargement are processes of continuation, and have changed and developed in the past twenty years. In addition, the relevance of these two processes is present in current discussions on NATO enlargement. Accordingly, this thesis will have a closer look at the two processes of enlargement and democratisation and examine to what extent a causal relation, if any, could be found between NATO membership (both the prospect of joining the Alliance and the actual membership) and democratisation in Central and Eastern Europe.