NATO and Russia : a discourse analysis of NATO´s enlargement policy and its effect
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In 1997 NATO formally announced that they were going to proceed with Article X in the North Atlantic Treaty. This gave NATO the opportunity to enlarge their membership based on consensus in the alliance. Even though the relationship between NATO and Russia has seen its ups and downs over the years, NATO chose to continue with its intended policy with promises of a more stable continent. The promises from NATO did not convince Russia and they insist that NATO´s enlargement policy is actually destabilizing the continent. How, then, can this type of policy shape the relationship between two major players on the European arena and possibly the security environment? This thesis sets out to analyze NATO and Russia´s discourse on the enlargement policy in 2008, 2014, and 2017 through discourse analysis. Changes in the discourses and the meaning attributed to the language chosen to describe the policy shows how the relationship between the two actors have changed over the three periods. Through the representations of the discourses it becomes clear that the two actors are on opposite sides, and a reconciliation is not plausible. NATO is pushing for the benefits of the policy for everyone in Europe, while Russia has deep concerns that the policy is decreasing their security and interests. The relationship between NATO and Russia has suffered from the enlargement policy and the European security environment can become destabilized as well.