Spain, the European Union and the United States in the Age of Terror: Spanish Strategic Culture and the Global War on Terror   [open pdf - 955KB]

"This thesis looks beyond the tragic events of 11 March 2004 to uncover the greater Spanish strategic culture that motivates and influences Spain's political elites. By examining the interaction between Spanish conservatives and liberals, discerning the Spanish strategic culture will allow for a greater understanding of the foreign policy implications to both the Spanish-US relationship and Spanish-EU integration after the Madrid bombings. By understanding how Spanish elites make decisions on the utilization of military force with respect to NATO operations and European Union security, this thesis first demonstrates the strategic preferences of the Spanish elites. Secondly, this thesis shows that the collective identity of Spanish elites seeks further influence in regional economic and global policy making. Lastly, this thesis reveals that Spain is in a unique position to develop a strong bilateral relationship with the US while furthering its integration with the EU but is unwilling to support the furthering of cooperation and integration at the expense of Spanish national interests. Uncovering the Spanish strategic culture will provide a possible generalization to whether this event will lead to a shift in the Spanish strategic culture or open a new chapter in the transatlantic relationship. This thesis suggests that the bombings will not redefine the strategic culture of Spain but reinforce Spain's commitment against international terrorism."

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