Since 2003, European Union (EU) Member States have exhibited unprecedented activism in the field of crisis management by conducting six military operations in the framework of the Unionâ€™s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). This is remarkable considering that all aspects of security and defence cooperation were kept outside the EUâ€™s decision-making structures until the 1999 Cologne European Council. Thus, many academics have taken a keen interest in explaining the CSDP, whereas others have focused on specific operations. However, the available literature provides very little insights into the issue of â€˜burden-sharingâ€™ in CSDP operations. More specifically, questions such as why have EU Member States deployed military forces under the umbrella of CSDP remain under explored.This paper contributes to the existing literature on CSDP by presenting a case study on EUNAVFOR Atalanta ï¿½ï¿½quot; the EUâ€™s naval operation at the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden. It draws competing hypotheses from existing IR theories and tests them against the research question, i.e. why do EU Member States deploy military force under CSDP? Although it assumes that all CSDP operations are different because of their unique political contexts, the paper suggests that we should start looking for recurring patterns in the behaviour of EU Member States each time they decide to deploy military force under CSDP. Therefore, it is hoped that this paper will be the first step towards a more general model on the deployment of military force under CSDP.
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