Previous studies on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation have focused on finding theoretical and qualitative explanations for the imbalanced contributions, lacking a counterfactual for how much countries would dedicate to defence expenditure, should the alliance not exist. Miren examines NATO’s expenditure trends, by calculating and comparing counterfactual figures to the actual military expenditures of member states. Results show that NATO membership has a convergence effect towards the NATO 2 percent of GDP threshold and is particularly salient in periods without external threats to the members. This finding is in line with the constructivist socialisation framework for international relations.
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