Since March 2003, European Union (EU) Member States have conducted six military operations under the Union's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). This is remarkable considering that all aspects of European security and defence cooperation were kept outside the EU's decision-making structures from the 1950s until the December 1999 Cologne European Council. Thus, many academics have taken a keen interest in explaining the CSDP, which is evident from the numerous books and articles that have been written on it over the past decade. However, the available literature provides very little insights into the reasons that have driven EU Member States to participate in CSDP military operations. More specifically, questions such as why EU Member States choose to deploy military force under CSDP remain chronically under explored.This paper contributes to the existing literature on CSDP by presenting a case study on EUFOR Althea - the EU's on-going military operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina launched in 2004 under the so-called Berlin Plus framework. It draws competing hypotheses from existing International Relations theories and tests them against empirical evidence to answer the main 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 patters in EU Member States' behaviour each time they decide to deploy military force under CSDP. Therefore, it is hoped that this paper will be a step towards the construction of a more general model on the deployment of military force under CSDP.
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