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Belgium : the reliable free rider

Tim Haesebrouck (UGent)
(2021) INTERNATIONAL POLITICS. 58. p.37-48
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Abstract
Belgium traditionally presents itself as a strong supporter of multilateral security cooperation and aims to be a reliable partner in the EU and NATO. Nevertheless, the uninterrupted decline of Belgium's defence budget paints a different picture, that of a country that rides cheap on the defence efforts of its partners. Belgium does make equitable contributions to multinational military operations, but the lack of defence investments threatens to undercut its ability to continue to make substantial contributions to multilateral operations. This article builds on the literature on small states and military burden sharing to explain Belgium's post-Cold War defence policy. More specifically, it argues that Belgium's behaviour is anything but irrational, given that it allows to gain a high degree of security and influence at relatively low political and financial costs.
Keywords
Political Science and International Relations, Geography, Planning and Development, Small states, Defence, Burden sharing, NATO, Belgium, NATO, STATES

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Haesebrouck, Tim. “Belgium : The Reliable Free Rider.” INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, vol. 58, 2021, pp. 37–48, doi:10.1057/s41311-020-00221-z.
APA
Haesebrouck, T. (2021). Belgium : the reliable free rider. INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, 58, 37–48. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-020-00221-z
Chicago author-date
Haesebrouck, Tim. 2021. “Belgium : The Reliable Free Rider.” INTERNATIONAL POLITICS 58: 37–48. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41311-020-00221-z.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Haesebrouck, Tim. 2021. “Belgium : The Reliable Free Rider.” INTERNATIONAL POLITICS 58: 37–48. doi:10.1057/s41311-020-00221-z.
Vancouver
1.
Haesebrouck T. Belgium : the reliable free rider. INTERNATIONAL POLITICS. 2021;58:37–48.
IEEE
[1]
T. Haesebrouck, “Belgium : the reliable free rider,” INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, vol. 58, pp. 37–48, 2021.
@article{8646097,
  abstract     = {Belgium traditionally presents itself as a strong supporter of multilateral security cooperation and aims to be a reliable partner in the EU and NATO. Nevertheless, the uninterrupted decline of Belgium's defence budget paints a different picture, that of a country that rides cheap on the defence efforts of its partners. Belgium does make equitable contributions to multinational military operations, but the lack of defence investments threatens to undercut its ability to continue to make substantial contributions to multilateral operations. This article builds on the literature on small states and military burden sharing to explain Belgium's post-Cold War defence policy. More specifically, it argues that Belgium's behaviour is anything but irrational, given that it allows to gain a high degree of security and influence at relatively low political and financial costs.},
  author       = {Haesebrouck, Tim},
  issn         = {1384-5748},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL POLITICS},
  keywords     = {Political Science and International Relations,Geography,Planning and Development,Small states,Defence,Burden sharing,NATO,Belgium,NATO,STATES},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {37--48},
  title        = {Belgium : the reliable free rider},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/s41311-020-00221-z},
  volume       = {58},
  year         = {2021},
}

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