The latest economic crisis arguably poses a pressing problem for European security. The related austerity measures had many European Union member states (EU MS) commit to some form of contraction in their national defense sectors. These reductions have taken form of diminishing national defense budgets, reduced military capabilities or pre-term withdrawals from operational deployments. However, not all EU MS reduced elements of their defense sectors in a uniform manner and some EU MS even avoided cutbacks in the defense sector. This varied national response to a common external shock has not been sufficiently explored in relation to CSDP. We lack a model to explain which vulnerabilities in the national defense sector significantly influence the security output of state cooperation under CSDP. To gain a better understanding of how economic, capability and reputation vulnerabilities in EU MS national defense sectors relate to CSDP cooperation, I propose to collect data on the state of economy, military capabilities, operational crisis-management deployment and strategic security culture of the current EU MS in the period from 2000 to 2012. This data will be assessed in relation to its correlates at the CSDP level. The findings will ultimately challenge the common belief that national economic vulnerability is a sufficient predictor of state behavior in the framework of CSDP security cooperation. Furthermore, the paper will examine whether military capability vulnerability and reputation vulnerability can better predict state security cooperation under the CSDP.
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