Balkanizing Security: Romania, Bulgaria, and the Burdens of Alliance PDF Print E-mail

Balkanizing Security: Romania, Bulgaria, and the Burdens of Alliance

Ronald H. Linden, University of Pittsburgh

October 30, 2008


Alliances, as George Washington famously warned, can be troublesome. They can entangle. Analyses of events ranging from World War I to the Iraq war have noted the costs and gains of alliances to the predominant or most powerful actor in the alliance. Often these derive from the burdens on the smaller allies, who are expected to conform to modal alliance behavior and who bear the burden of producing the security that an alliance promises at the "front lines". Currently, with post-Cold War alliance structures much more fluid and, some would say, eroding into something quite different, there is a need to pay attention to how such changes are affecting the security and policy choices of alliance members. This is especially true of the Balkans, given its history and its renewed prominence in the strategic perspective of several powerful actors, including the United States, the European Union, and Russia. This paper offers a discussion of the nature of the alliance challenges for Romania and Bulgaria especially as regards the intersection of the issue of Turkish membership in the European Union and these states' ties with the United States. The two states form a useful comparative set because of their similar but not identical recent histories and similar but again not identical patterns of participation, domestic politics, and expectations that are likely to affect their alliance contributions.


Contact Information

National Council for Eurasian and East European Research

DC Office
  • 1828 L Street NW Suite 1200
  • Washington, DC 20036
  • Tel: 202-572-9095
  • Fax: 866-937-9872
  • E-mail:

ac_logo_small carnegielogo_small sd_logo_small NEH



National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER) is a non-profit organization created in 1978 to develop and sustain long-term, high-quality programs for post-doctoral research on the social, political, economic, environmental, and historical development of Eurasia and Central and Eastern Europe.   More

Latest NCEEER Working Papers








Doctors' and Parents' Perspectives on Communication Regarding HPV Vaccination in Bulgaria

Elitsa Dimitrova, Yulia Panayotova, Anna Alexandrova-Karamanova, and Irina Todorova

Contextual Constitution of Behavior: Introducing the HPV Vaccine in Eastern Europe

Irina Todorova and Adrian Baban

The Readers of Novyi Mir, 1948-1969: A Social Portrait

Denis Kozlov